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INSTANT ANORAK HEAD TO HEAD JUST LANDED IN FOCUS: DUBLIN
NO R-EGRETS: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, itâ€™s definitely a bird. Or birds â€“ loads of great egrets, in fact. The Great Egret Awakening was snapped by Zsolt Kudich on the Danube river in Hungary, and is a finalist in the birds category of the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Photograph by Zsolt Kudich
FACE OFF: We love over achieving kids, none more than Carlos Perez Naval, a nine-year-old Spanish photographer with a serious eye for a great shot. He was the winner of the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2014, and has been named as a finalist in the same category this year, with this image, To Drink or Not.
Photograph by Carlos Perez Naval
SHAPE SHIFTER: Who knows how photographer Thomas Pescha found the nerve to capture this shot in South Africa, but it was worth the effort. The Shark Surfer is a finalist in the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year category. The 100 shortlisted images and winning shots will be exhibited from 16 October until 12 April at the Natural History Museum. For more information and for tickets visit nhm.ac.uk/wpy
Photograph by Thomas Pescha
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*Limited availability at advertised rate. Sample daily rates featured are ‘from rates’ and are subject to availability at participating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa for weekend arrivals until 30 October 2015. Rates will vary based on selected hotels and may include higher or lower rates than advertised based on specific travel dates selected. Featured rates are subject to change and are for stays which may begin on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights or Thursday, Friday or Saturday in the Middle East. Each hotel has a policy addressing cancellations and/or blackout dates that may apply. Unless otherwise stated, quoted rates are per room per night and are for room only, based on double occupancy and do not include taxes, gratuities, incidental charges, resort fees or other associated costs (where applicable). Currency conversions are a guide and are correct on day of print. The Best Available Rate is a specific rate type that varies depending on time of purchase, is unrestricted, non-qualified and excludes discount or negotiated rates. For more information visit hiltonweekends.co.uk. † Visit DoubleTree.com for terms and conditions.
Instant ANORAK Thousands of zombies will stagger to the Pittsburgh Zombie Fest later this month. Here's all you need to know about this ghoulishly good party of the undead
THE NUMBER OF ZOMBIES EXPECTED TO ATTEND THIS YEAR
THE CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE, IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW, THAT SOME THINK PREDICTS A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
OF OCTOBER IS WORLD ZOMBIE DAY, AND THE DAY OF ZOMBIE FEST
THE NUMBER OF CITIES AROUND THE WORLD THAT NOW HOST ANNUAL ZOMBIE WALKS/FESTIVALS, ALL INSPIRED BY PITTSBURGH
THE NUMBER OF YEARS ZOMBIE FEST HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR
THE NUMBER OF TIMES THE PITTSBURGH ZOMBIE FEST HAS BROKEN THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LARGEST ZOMBIE GATHERING
14,000 THE WEIGHT IN POUNDS OF FOOD THAT ZOMBIE FEST HAS RECEIVED IN CHARITABLE DONATIONS FOR FOOD BANKS IN PITTSBURGH
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WEIRD world Things you never knew you loved. Up this month: dogs with flattops, goatlifting and the world’s biggest fungus… TAIWAN No one likes a messy, straggly dog – especially pet owners in Taiwan. If you’re visiting, be sure to check out the latest grooming craze, where dogs are preened into square cubes – their heads, their tums, their tails – and paraded on a catwalk. Before you protest, consider this: these pampered pooches have sass, style and a flattop to rival Will Smith’s in the ‘90s. That’s one hell of a look.
MEANS OF ESCAPE Quick, Paul and Mary, someone’s driving off with the showstopper bakes! Stop them now! #21 CUPCAKE CAR Have you got a spare £15,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Yeah, us too. We were thinking about blowing it all down the arcades, then we found this far more sensible way to invest our not-at-all-imaginary fortune. The Cupcake Car made its debut at Burning Man festival in Nevada – not as a mode of transport, but as a moving art installation (because hanging paintings on a wall is so 1950s). The sweet idea was the brain child of Lia Ongrace, who, if you ask nicely, will whip you up one of her creations today. She will also expect that £15,000 for the effort. Still, it sounds like money well spent. The car (we use the term
loosely), is made with metal sheeting, wood and three tiny wheels, and can be made to order. Just pick your sponge ‘flavour’, icing and sprinkles, and they’ll throw in a matching helmet. Not only that, it’s perfect for London roads: the electric motor guarantees a top speed of 7mph (you’re not going to get much more pace in the capital than that), and because it’s not officially a car, you’re free to ‘drive’ in the bike lane and annoy cyclists. Other things you can buy for £15k include a second hand Mitsubishi Evo, a new Skoda Octavia or 10,000 actual cupcakes. It’s your call… e
KILLORGLIN, IRELAND Ever wondered what the oldest festival in Ireland is? Probably not. Here it is anyway: the Puck Fair festival is a 400-year-old fixture in County Kerry. Every August a goat is nabbed from the countryside, crowned King Puck, and hoisted 60 feet into the air to spend three days watching locals go about the daily grind. On the third day, he gets to go home – still donning his crown, natch.
CRYSTAL FALLS, USA We’ve gone right off our dinner. It’s because we’ve been reading about the Humongous Fungus Festival, essentially a party for a giant American mushroom that’s reached a weight of 21,000lbs over 1,500 years. So how do you celebrate a fungus fest? With a pancake breakfast, golf tournament and a mushroom pizza-eating contest, obviously. We’d be a shoo-in for the latter.
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Head to HEAD MARSEILLE, FRANCE Population: 855,000
Nickname: France's second city
Nickname: City of the Sun
Italians, North Africans, Eastern Europeans, painters, writers, architects and fishermen. Oh, and there's a lot of seagulls, too. 7/10
Pizza lovers, church goers, loud talkers, fast movers and the inventor of Neopolitan ice cream (unconfirmed). 7/10
WHAT TO SAY
WHAT NOT TO SAY
WHAT TO SAY
WHAT NOT TO SAY
"It's not rough and ready, it's proto-hipster."
"Football's got a lot better since PSG became minted."
"Toppings on a round bread base? OMG, that's GENIUS!"
"I'm not really doing carbs at the moment – sorry."
EAT & DRINK
EAT & DRINK
Marseille was Europe's Capital of Culture in 2013, don't you know (Oh, you didn't? Well now you do. You're welcome). Visit some of its galleries and museums, before exploring its diversity in French/ African quarter Noailles. 7/10
Hôtel Le Corbusier (named after the famed urban architect who designed it) combines brutalist architecture with a central location and rooftop pool. Yes, it's seriously cool. Budget options include the portside Hotel Ibis. 8/10
Don't leave without trying the city's signature dish, bouillabaisse. If you can't leave your street-food dependency at home, head to L'Aromat, where they've turned the traditional fish stew into a 'bouillabaise burger'. 7/10
Naples has more churches than any other city in the world (448 in total), so chances are you'll end up at one even if it's not on your to-do list. Slightly less holy pursuits include visiting the erotic frescoes in nearby Pompeii. 9/10
A fifth-century palace given a cool, contemporary revamp, Hotel Piazza Bellini wins in the style stakes, while those with smaller budgets should seek out Hostel of the Sun which is centrallylocated, sociable and cheap. 8/10
Obviously, you have to eat pizza. Because, well, why wouldn't you in its actual birthplace (and, more to the point, why wouldn't you in ANY place?). Head to anywhere that doesn't look too fancy, with a queue (sounds familiar...). 9/10
AND THE WINNER IS…
Naples. You can't argue with God. Or pizza.
HANNAH SUMMERS IS…
STRANGER THAN FICTION I love hotels as much as the next person. I love diving into a mound of pillows on a bed the size of my flat; I love washing in a rain shower so big that I need to run around in it to get wet; I love finding chocolates on my pillow at bedtime; I LOVE a buffet breakfast; and I especially love hoarding free slippers. But then there’s another thing I love more than all those things put together: getting off the tourist trail. Yeah, sure, I’m just another person trying to ‘live like a local abroad’, but for me, travelling is about speaking to people who really know their neighbourhood – people who will send me to places I’d never otherwise have found. So what’s the With Airbnb you can answer? Bunking book anything from in with strangers, a single room in obviously. This someone's flat to an entire villa. isn’t about picking
The people, as much as the places, have made my holidays. Free slippers are nice and all, but sometimes you can’t beat a natter with an eccentric local grandma, with her furry dog in your lap. That’s the kind of holiday memory I’m after. Lock up your mutts… e
Illustration by Mark Boardman
up randoms in the street (excuse me!) but booking rooms in people’s homes – the model best represented by Airbnb. One of my best home-stay trips included sleeping in the spare room of a hipster couple who knew every single backstreet bar in Brooklyn. I’ve forgotten the couple’s names, because they were massively overshadowed by their dogs: Penny (a Yorkshire terrier) and Rigby (some sort of hyperactive fluffball mutt). In Malta I stayed in a town I never would have known existed if it weren’t for Airbnb. I ate alongside Maltese grannies in the harbour, swam at deserted beaches, and gained a new BFF: the host’s fluffy white dog, Susu. (Yep, there's a theme here). When I think back on the trips I’ve taken, it's the people I remember. I still receive emails from an old lady called Rachel in Sorrento, who said I was "a strong-minded lady with a beautiful smile" (I’ll admit it, reading your reviews on Airbnb is good for the ego); and Erini in Kos who liked reading fortunes, and told me I displayed the typical characteristics of an Aquarius (contrary and impatient, with exceptional taste in music). Nevertheless, we still “shared some lovely traditional moments”.
FIND YOUR OWN SLICE OF PARADISE IN FIJI With over 333 islands making up Fiji and boasting a glorious, warm, year round climate you will find your own slice of secluded paradise here. The main island, Viti Levu offers a number of beach resorts, surrounded in lush tropical vegetation and boasting stunning views of the mountain scenery. For a true Fijian experience, we recommend, you venture out to the one of the outer islands for some of the best beaches and dive amongst the pristine coral gardens.
FIJI 7 Days from £1,749 pp Saving £160 per couple Includes: 6nts 4★ Matamanoa Island Resort, boat transfers and return international flights. Departing London Heathrow. Based on Bed & Breakfast and select travel in November 2015
Call our expert Travel Designers on FREEPHONE 0808 271 8462 or visit austravel.com We don’t just go there, we know there Calls are free, mobile and other providers’ charges may apply. ATOL protected. Book by 22nd September 2015.
C60 TRIDENT GMT 600 â€“ Swiss made dual time watch with automatic mechanical movement, graduated rotatable ceramic (ZrO2) bezel, arrow-headed 24 hour hand and water resistance to 60 bar/600m. Available in 38mm and 42mm case sizes, three dial/bezel combinations and four strap styles.
E XC LU S I V E LY AVA I L A B L E AT
landed HORSE AROUND Photograph by Eyal Bartov
FOLLOW THE TRAIL OF MARK TWAIN IN ISRAEL “The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.” If Mark Twain’s quote inspired you in his 1867 book The Innocents Abroad, then saddle up for this new expedition from crazy adventure company Secret Compass. The 14-day trip begins in Galilee, and journeys through the lush Jordan Valley and wildliferich Judean desert to Jericho and Jerusalem. You’ll travel by horse and camp in the wilderness, just like Twain did. secretcompass.com
PARKLIFE USA NEW JERSEY FOOD TRUCKS New Jersey’s the home state of two great things: Bruce Springsteen and pork roll. It’s affectionately described as “ham in a sack” by Johnny Pork Roll, one of the stall owners at a new food truck park in the beachside city of Asbury Park. @PorkRollTruck
THE EYES HAVE IT KIM JOG-ON NORTH KOREA MARATHON
Photograph by #
If you’re one of those people who travels for marathons, full respect to you. Along with some travel advice: make North Korea your next 26-mile challenge. The Pyongyang race has recently opened up to international runners, but you can only take part if you’re part of a tour group. Step forward Intrepid Travel with its new North Korea expedition – nine nights of temples, mountains and museums. Oh, and that marathon. intrepidtravel.com
CRAZY SUNNIES There’s an Indian summer around the corner, we hope… Make the most of it in these Cutler & Gross ‘Party Leopard’ sunglasses. They may be called party sunglasses, but wear these to a party and someone will steal them off your face because they’re so cool. Save them for the beach. Or the commute to work. cutlerandgross.com
FLIGHT OF FANCY NEW BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHTS TO LIMA, PERU If you’ve been enjoying the recent Peruvian revolution that’s gripped London, we’ve got good news: British Airways’ new flight to Lima, Peru’s capital, makes it easier than ever to go and see its prime exponent at work. At Central, Virgilio Martinez – also executive chef of London’s premier Peruvian restaurants Lima and Lima Floral – aims to tell the story of Peru’s vibrant, diverse landscape through tasting menus whose courses reach double-figures. Not one for a casual drop-in; definitely one for the culinary bucket list. From £765 return; ba.com
CRYSTAL CLARE NEW HOTEL IN SYDNEY Fans of high ceilings and urban industrial vibes should check out Sydney’s coolest new hotel opening: the Old Clare Hotel is a 62-room hotel that’s set in a former brewery and historic pub. Along with that lovely rooftop pool there’s one hell of a breakfast spread, overseen by Jason Atherton, who’ll be opening his first restaurant in Australia – the Kensington Street Social – in the very same ‘hood. theoldclarehotel.com.au
PLUG ‘N’ STAY
NEW HOMESTAY CONCEPT
ROBOT HOTEL IN JAPAN
For those that love playing host, and going on holiday, you can now go even further with Night Swapping. The concept’s simple – host guests at your pad, and use those nights as ‘tokens’ to then rest your weary head at another local’s home around the world. The site now has listings in more than 160 countries, with August additions including Tanzania, rural Northern Ireland and Canada. For the safety conscious, Night Swapping has just signed an international partnership with insurance provider Allianz – making it the only service to entirely secure the whole homestay accommodation process. Boom! nightswapping.com
We can always rely on Japan to come up with the best, and the worst travel ideas. The Henn-na Hotel (which translates to ‘Strange Hotel’ in Nagasaki) is run by a team of top-of-the-range robots. Not just any old robots either – the front desk has dinosaur bots while each room comes with little robot dolls who will turn off your light switches when you don’t want to. Real people? Ha! Next! h-n-h.jp
SURF’S PUP DOG SURFING USA Huntington Beach is known as Surf City USA, but it’s also known as ‘Dogtown USA’ (according to Dog Fancy magazine, at least). That means that not only does the US beach town host normal surfing championships, but on 25 September it will host a dog surfing competition, too. DOGS IN LIFE JACKETS. surfcityusa.com
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Situated on the world-famous Jumeirah Beach with views over The Palm, this luxury resort occupies one of Dubai’s most sought after beachside locations. Set within an oasis of tropical gardens, you can spend your days in the shade of the swaying palms gazing out over the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. • Beachfront location • Kids’ pool & free Kids’ Club • Fantastic range of Sports & Leisure facilities • 16 bars & restaurants offering a delectable range of cuisine • Luxurious Elixir Spa ards 2015 Aw
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IN FOCUS DUBLIN From swimming to shopping, there’s more to Dublin than Guinness, says Aaron O’Farrell. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have at least one, though...
Grand Canal Square opened in 2007 in Dublin’s Docklands as an urban centre of culture. This striking red sculpture acts as the centrepiece of the square, and lights up at night.
STAY The Morgan Boutique Hotel is Dublin’s coolest boarding house at the moment (themorgan.com). Every room is decorated with strange and intriguing pieces from home-grown artists and the Morgan Bar, with a live DJ and saxophone player, is usually packed and on wheels (think Aristocats-style house parties). If you’re spending big, then why not cosy up in a favourite for international celebrities and book a room at the Merrion (merrionhotel.com). Avalon House on Aungier Street is the cheaper option: a loud and lively hostel right in the city centre, it also boasts a trendy cafe (avalonhouse.ie). If you’re too-cool-forschool (like, er, us), check out, or check into, the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street – a great location for nightclubs and bars, though the football table means you might never leave (deanhoteldublin.ie).
Photograph by David Soanes Photography/Getty Images
Talk of the town at the moment is SMS (supermisssue.com) which is comprised of three restaurants depending on your mood: Super Miss Sue (casual dining seafood cafe), Cervi (a fish and chip shop – Dublin’s best) and Luna (1950s-style italian-inspired fine dining option where wait-staff and bartenders wear maroon velvet blazers and bow ties, with the same creepy carpet featured in The Shining). Bunsen is the undoubted burger king of Dublin (bunsen.ie), offering its diners one of two simple options, with cheese or without. Dubliners are strangely passionate about chicken wings, and Blue Bar serves up the best, in a coastal harbour setting in Skerries (bluebar.ie). The burrito has replaced the potato as the Irish staple, with a burrito bar on almost every street, and Boojum on Aungier Street (boojummex.com) is top dog, with staff wearing comedy t-shirts emblazoned with “Guac is extra... I KNOW!”. For a proper Irish breakfast, get out to the Chuck Wagon and try soda farls stuffed with bacon and sausages. And pick up some bags of Tayto crisps to bring home – the Irish swear by them (as do we, when we can get them).
Photograph by ###
Dublin’s not really a great city to go out drinking in, sadly. Wait, hang on, scratch that. It’s the BEST city to go out drinking in. You can never go wrong in a Dublin pub and most places never disappoint. Mulligans on Poolbeg Street (mulligans.ie) is a hidden-away boozer that’s full of history (James Joyce wrote many stories there). The Irish craft beer industry is soaring and P. Macs has plenty of the stuff on tap – don’t order a Heineken, they’ll laugh you out the door. Peruke and Periwig on Dawson Street will send you back to Georgian Dublin with its interior, and also serves the city’s best cocktails (peruke. ie). Xico (xico.ie) is a Mexicanthemed underground late-bar where anything goes (patrons dance along the bar and swing from the low ceiling with full permission). The Dingle Whiskey Bar on Nassau Street serves Irish hand-crafted whiskey and vodka made in Kerry, which is delicious, of course. For a rock fix, try out the Gypsy Rose on the quays in Liffey where you’ll hear Dylan and Patti Smith and look at (or buy) work from local artists. Head downstairs after a few and it’s a bit more hardcore – with a DJ called DJ Sugartits, you know you’re in for a crazy night (gypsyrose. ie). If that sounds like your idea of hell, then Crowbar is a lovely chilled option. And relax…
Many of Dublin’s golf courses had to close during the 2008 recession. The good news is some have reopened as Foot-Tee (or Football Golf) courses – the latest craze to take over the city; head to Deer Park in Howth for a round with panoramic views (deerpark-hotel. ie). At Dublin’s Silicon Docks you can test your watersports skills at Wakedock, a wakeboard park surrounded by high-rise office buildings (wakedock.ie). Forty Foot on the coast in Sandycove was once a men’s only nude bathing spot, until the 1970s, when naked woman made a splash with a successful protest (fortyfoot.org). The iconic swimming spot now welcomes everyone, naked or not. Make sure you leave time to say hello to the statue of Oscar Wilde and walk past the Dermot Morgan (Father Ted) memorial in Merrion Square, Dublin’s most famous Georgian park.
The maze in Iveagh Gardens – which is actually a smallscale copy of the one at Hampton Court – is a must-visit if you fancy re-creating the childhood steps of Oscar Wilde.
GETTING THERE Ryanair offers return flights from £15, ryanair.com; for more information visit tourismireland. com and visitdublin.com; also follow @TourismIreland and @VisitDublin on Twitter
Photograph by ###
A visit to the George’s Street Arcade and surrounding areas will reward shoppers with the best vintage stores in Dublin (georgesstreetarcade. ie). More upmarket, and across the road, is the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, full of boutique Irish designers and name-brand stores including All Saints. Venture another 200 yards down the street and you’re at Avoca, which sells high-quality Irish craft furniture, artwork and handmade clothing (the food there is also top quality avoca.com). Books Upstairs (booksirish.com) on D’Olier Street (dull-ear street), and The Winding Stair (also a restaurant), just across from the iconic Ha’Penny Bridge on the northern side of the River Liffey, have the best collections of Irish and world literature (winding-stair.com). The Celtic Whiskey Shop on Dawson Street has a huge selection of the famous Irish juice. Whiskey in Irish is uisce beatha, which aptly translates to ‘water of life’ in English. (celticwhiskeyshop.com)
The beautifully serene Iveagh Gardens are right in the heart of the city, and are unchanged since the likes of Oscar Wilde played on the lawns as a toddler. The Bord Gais (pronounced gosh) Energy Theatre is in the centre of the newly urbanised Dublin docklands, known to locals as ‘Silicon Docks’ because Google and Facebook have their EU headquarters there. Go to the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar and check out a great art exhibition or live theatrical performances – it’s impossible to keep up with the ever-changing schedule (projectartscentre.ie). The Gate Theatre on O’Connell Street has a wealth of history and showcases not only some of the finest stage talent in the country, but international stars, too – they all love coming to the small venue to delight the appreciative audiences (gatetheatre. ie). For an afternoon of unbridled Irish sporting passion, join 90,000 fans for a Gaelic football match at Croke Park (crokepark.ie).
Photograph by (background) Peter Unger/Getty Images; (Iveagh Gardens) Kevin Foy; Patrick Casey / Alamy
TOMA SZ FURMANEK Photo by: Tomasz Furmanek
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Full Board accommodation
ABSOLUTE STEEL Boutique hotel Brocco on the Park adds a touch of steely class to Sheffield during a short stay in the city for Ronan O’Shea What’s the score? If you want the hustle and bustle of the city, minus the sound of cars, drunken revellers (don’t judge, it was you three hours earlier) and milk men on their rounds (OK, we might be getting rose-tinted here) then Brocco on the Park is the place for you. Wedged between Sheffield city centre and the leafy Ecclesall area, Brocco is a boutique hotel in a city with a hell of a lot going for it right now – not least its plentiful nightlife and a music scene that just keeps getting better and better.
The rooms Peak District There are eight to choose from, and we were pretty taken by all of them to say the least. Each of the rooms is cosy yet airy, with crisp white linen sheets, wool rugs and throws, free-standing baths (complete with Osme products and bath robes). You’ll even have a modern four-poster bed if you’re in the Chiffchaff’s room (our favourite). If you’re craving a bit of fresh air, there’s a garden on the roof, just in case next-door Endcliffe Park (that’s the one in the name) feels like too much effort to walk to.
BROCCO ON THE PARK ADDRESS 92 BROCCO BANK, S11 8RS PRICE FROM £100 PER NIGHT (ROOM ONLY)
The city “I’m sorry, I think you undercharged me.” Nope; no they didn’t. The price of a pint really is cheaper up north and, unless we were getting ahead of ourselves (quite possible), the quality was a bit better too. We were in town for Tramlines festival and had the pleasure of visiting some of Sheffield’s most interesting venues, including the Leadmill, a legendary space in the old industrial heartland, the Harley, Sheffield’s de rigueur haunt for indie kids, and the Main Stage. Sheffield City Centre Okay, the Main Stage might be a park for most of the year, but if Brocco on the Park the festival carries on the way it has been, it’s going to be iconic in no A61 time at all.
A bite to eat? The breakfast at Brocco on the Park was spectacular, with delicious, freshly made coffee and the full English to end all full Englishes, which we hope they don’t do, as we’d really like another one, and one more on top of that. We wouldn’t blame you for sticking around in the evening, too. Big plates include rib-eye steak, and wild nettle and garlic gnocchi. For burgers in town, head to the Twisted Burger Company, for imaginative creations named the Rasher’s Delight and Pig Daddy Kane, served with Big Pimpin’ fries. The chef’s obviously a country and western fan… e
DISTANCE FROM LONDON 4 HOURS BY CAR OR 2.5 HOURS BY TRAIN, PLUS A SHORT TAXI/BUS RIDE
ABOVE: First-rate food, cool accommodation and a handy location close to the centre of Sheffield make Brocco on the Park the perfect pit-stop
Breakfast included the full English to end all full Englishes, which we really hope they don’t do… NEAREST STATION SHEFFIELD INFO: 0114 266 1233; BROCCO.CO.UK
HOT E L OF THE MONTH
Welcome to a new kind of family holiday at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, a fivestar resort with fine dining, activities and sparkling seas. Book now with British Airways
IN A SS O C I ATI O N W I T H
here’s a reason everyone flocks to Cancun. Framed by pure, white-sand beaches and sparkling, blue seas, and with a vibrant atmosphere unlike any other, Cancun is Mexico’s Caribbean gem. Stretching along Cancun’s immaculate, azure coastline, the five-star Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, has everything you’d expect from a luxury resort, and more. For starters, it boasts a prime beachfront location, in the heart of the glamorous Riviera Maya, while sun-soaked pools and tropical gardens abound. Indulgence and R&R come first, and with Unlimited-Luxury® you can explore the wide range of activities – including kayaking,
snorkelling and movies on the beach – along with themed nights and beach parties. Better still, no wristbands are required. Expect world-class à la carte dining at the resort’s six no-reservations restaurants and bars, and enjoy a nightcap at the Rendezvous lobby bar, with Caribbean Sea views. For a change of scenery, you can even dine at six neighbouring hotels with the Sip, Savor & See experience. Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa takes family relaxation very seriously, and the heated kids’ pool and Mayan-themed Explorers’ Club are ideal distractions for youngsters while adults retreat to the decadent Dreams Spa by Pevonia. Dreams by name, dreams by nature.
THE RESORT BOASTS A PRIME LOCATION, RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE GLAMOROUS RIVIERA MAYA
P ROMOTI ON
How To Book Seven-night all-inclusive holidays at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa start from just ÂŁ1,139pp. To book, and for more information, visit ba.com/dreamsriviera THE DEAL
DETAILS: Terms and conditions apply. Availability may be extremely limited. Price based on selected travel between 1 May and 30 June 2016 and includes return British Airways World Traveller flights from London Gatwick. Book by 22 Sept.
LOVENEED EVERYTHING ELSE is all you
Only Sandals Resorts includes the best of everything. The Caribbean’s most spectacular beaches and decadently romantic suites with private plunge pools. English Guild-trained butlers and world-class service. Premium brand drinks at up to 11 bars, and delectable dining at up to 16 gourmet restaurants per resort, plus unlimited land and water sports. It’s all included, all unlimited, all the time. And only at Sandals Resorts!
MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS ON THE PLANET
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SEE MORE TRAVEL IDEAS AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
EXPERIENCES 34 COOL HOTELS 46 DETROIT 54 IRELAND 60 ST LUCIA 68 MADRID
RISE UP: Detroit isn’t the most obvious US holiday destination, but for curious travellers looking to discover a fascinating city, we put our hands up for Detroit. Our writer finds graffiti, Motown and friendly locals. [p46]
Our guide to the coolest hotels on the planet is back – and it’s grown a massive beard, moved to Clapton and started banging on about small-batch gin. Yep, THAT cool. It’s a law unto itself…
Photograph by ###
D OUT Photograph by David Harrison
Best for: Design
Hotel Unique, São Paulo, Brazil It’s known locally as the ‘Watermelon’, but we’d say it looks more like a massive boat. At least that’s what Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake was hoping for when he designed this São Paulo hotel to look like the hull of a ship (with porthole windows, because squares are for, well, squares). Rooms are as sleek as you’d expect for a design-led hotel, and if you want to speak to your roommate while they’re in the bathroom (you don’t
THE ION HOTEL’S OUTDOOR GEOTHERMAL HOT TUB OVERLOOKS LAVA FIELDS
do that?), you can do so via a garage-style door. São Paulo’s a hip, sprawling concrete jungle, so the nearby greenery of the Ibirapuera Park is welcome. If you can drag yourself from the rooftop bar that is – hello caipirinhas with a skyline view. All in all, a pretty ship-shape experience… HOW: Nightly rates from £288 per room, hotelunique.com.br; British Airways offers return flights from £650, ba.com
Ion Hotel, Iceland A Brutalist slab of concrete may not sound like a geographer’s dream, but drop it at the foot of a volcano belt in Iceland and you’re on to a winning combination. It’s not just one for geology geeks, either: the uniquely designed property goes big on industrial chic on the exterior, while other parts of the hotel are much softer (the spa helps, with the outdoor, geothermal hot tub overlooking lava fields, and treatments concocted with wild Icelandic flowers and volcanic ash from that darn volcano). But it’s the setting that makes it more than just a modern architectural marvel. Just an hour south of Reykjavík, Ion offers a sense of discovering deepest, darkest Iceland – best viewed with a backdrop drenched in the Northern Lights. HOW: Nightly rates from £184 per room, ioniceland.is; EasyJet offers return flights from £50, easyjet.com Yes Hotel Semiramis, Athens, Greece If you long for that 1960s nightclub vibe all day, all night, then look no further than
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: We’ll spend our time in Puglia in the rooftop pool at Don Ferrante thanks; is it a nightcub? Is it a gallery? No, it’s Hotel Semiramis in Athens of course; the clue’s in the name... check into the distinctive and design-led Hotel Unique; Hotel de Petit Moulin is très chic. Obviously
ABOVE: With such breathtaking natural surroundings, most buildings would be left in the shade. Not Iceland’s remarkable Ion
Kifissia, a neighbourhood in the north of Athens. That’s where you’ll find the Semiramis, the first hotel from the funky YES! hotel group, where the design is seriously psychedelic – designer Karim Rashid seems to have drawn inspiration from a pack of Leafy, suburban Skittles Sours for this Kifissia is a great project. By day your place to stay if you eyes will be drawn want to avoid the downtown Athens to the kidney-shaped bustle. It’s where pool, complete the rich hang out, with green and blue so expect boutiques and bars to match. floor, while at night you’ll be gazing up from the cocktail terrace at neon pink and fluorescent yellow balconies. The inside’s just as crazy: tiny canary-yellow tiles line the bathroom, while bedrooms look like a kid’s been at them with a pack of Sharpie fluoro highlighters – in a good way. If you’re looking for a distinctive hotel that radiates
energy, is this the one for you? Big fat YES! HOW: Nightly rates from £99 per room, yeshotels.gr; Aegean Airlines offers return flights to Athens from £80, en.aegeanair.com
Best for: Old-school cool
Hôtel du Petit Moulin, Paris, France “Où est la boulangerie?” That GSCE French will finally come in handy for this hotel in the backstreets of Paris. The Hôtel du Petit Moulin is hidden away behind the frontage of an old bakery, in the historic Marais district – whose streets are packed with independent boutiques and beautiful people. Not only is this hotel tiny and personal, but the Christian Lacroix-designed interiors (think bold colours, animal prints and vintage collage – in a good way) feel like a fashion house as much as a hotel. Don’t worry, you won’t be tortured by the wafts of buttery croissants during your stay (the boulangerie closed decades back), but
you will still enjoy a sumptuous Parisian breakfast, with pastries galore, bien sur. HOW: Nightly rates from £150 per room, hotelpetitmoulinparis.com; visit Eurostar for book-ahead deals, eurostar.com
Don Ferrante, Puglia, Italy We spent hours agonising over which rustic Italian hotel to include in this list (monasteries, caves, farmhouses). Damn it, they’re all so good-looking. With a bit of pressure we’ve arrived at this beauty – a converted fortress built directly into Monopoli’s ancient seafront rampart. It’s now a tangle of corridors leading to ten ultra-chic, stone-clad rooms – high ceilings and neutral palettes as standard. Puglia is a beaut of a region to explore, famed for rustic cooking, just-like-mama-makes (because mama probably makes
ABOVE: If you’re going to sleep surrounded by snow, go the whole hog and stay in an igloo (albeit one of Whitepod’s canvas ones)
SLEEPING UNDER A CANVAS POD IN THE SNOW IS AS COOL AS IT GETS
it) but with the option to dine in a 16thcentury gunpowder cellar, you might never leave Don Ferrante’s walls. The roof terrace and pool will only make matters much worse (or much better). HOW: Experto Italy offers nightly rates from £170 per room, expertoitaly.com; EasyJet offers return flights to Brindisi from £50 return, easyjet.com
Hotel Duques de Cardona, Catalonia, Spain A ninth-century castle with a second-century tower? In north-east Spain? Consider us sold. This historic hotel in the sun- and food-filled region of Catalonia is a dream for history lovers, and the sprawling structure houses 42 airy bedrooms, the church of San Vincente (built in 981AD!) and Gothic
towers, moats and canals. Castle-cum-hotel Duques de Cardona sits on a hill, with views over fields, monasteries and Roman bridges. Now that’s how to do history. HOW: Nightly rates from £120 per room, paradores-spain.com; EasyJet offers flights to Girona from £45 return, easyjet.com
Best for: The great outdoors
Whitepod, Valais, Switzerland Using the word ‘hotel’ is stretching it a little with this one. But sleeping under a huge canvas pod in the middle of snowy Switzerland is about as cool as you can get. Thankfully you won’t actually be cold, because the pods are furnished with cosy beds, throws and log-burning fires. Each pod is set on a Each canvas pod is hillside with 13 other supported by a solid, curvy geodetic framework, creating a spherical shape composed entirely of triangles. Each has its own water supply and a wooden stove.
tents, and there’s an on-site restaurant where you can munch on typical mountain cuisine with some mulled alcoholic drinks – perfect after a day skiing. It’s not just a winter destination, though. Come summer, the snow thaws to reveal lush green fields, with the surrounding mountains making for prime hiking, biking or just standing-aroundand-gawping-at-the-view territory. We’ll see you at the summit… HOW: Rates from £180 per pod per night, whitepod.com; EasyJet offers return flights to Geneva from £50 return, easyjet.com
Photographs by (Whitepd) Laura De Kock; (Kasbah) Alan Keohane; (Glen Oaks) James Halls Photography
Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco This converted kasbah’s location is so spectacular that it’s made the cut on several Hollywood films, including Scorsese’s Kundun (in which it was used as a Tibetan monastery). Just 64km from Marrakech, the 14-bedroom hotel is the prime mountainside base for those keen to hike 4,167m up mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. But with that home-cooked food, warm rooms and hammam, we wouldn’t blame you for kicking back and rocking the kasbah instead. HOW: Nightly rates from £120, kasbahtoubkal.com; EasyJet offers return flights to Marrakech from £60, easyjet.com Glen Oaks, Big Sur, USA You don’t really arrive in Big Sur. The place just gradually dawns on you – the mountains get bigger, the hills get greener, and the sea gets bluer as Highway 1 wraps its way along the whole thing. That being the case, it’s no surprise to learn that generations of free-spirited creative types have headed there to work, walk, think and generally cut themselves off from civilisation. Hidden away in a forest, and based around a 1950s adobe motor lodge, Glen Oaks is a designer sanctuary tucked off Highway 1. The lodge itself is cool and cosy, but for getting-away-from-it-all isolation, Big Sur-style, the wooden forest cabins are hard to beat. The attached Roadhouse restaurant, with Brendan Esons
at the helm, puts a Californian twist on Southern soul-food classics, in a hip, artladen setting. HOW: Rates start from £150 per cabin per night, glenoaksbigsur.com; take a road trip from LA, where Virgin Atlantic offers return flights from £600, virgin-atlantic.com
Best for: Your wallet
Jack Sprat Shack, Treasure Beach, Jamaica Hostels get a bad rep. Dingy rooms, bed bugs and drunken top-bunk fumbles (hey, we’ve all been there – haven’t we?). But that’s all in the past – particularly at Jamaica’s Jack Sprat hostel in Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s south-west coast. The sturdy bunk beds and simple decor are ideal for people who care about aesthetics, but are travelling on a budget. If you have a bit more dollar to splash, check out Jake’s Hotel from the same owners, where for £60 per room, per night you can enjoy purple walls, tropical-print bedspreads, a location right on the beach and the annual Calabash Literary Festival, if books are your thing (and your timing’s right). HOW: Rates start from £16 per bunk bed, jackspratshack.com; Virgin Atlantic offers return flights from £600, virgin-atlantic.com
GENERATIONS OF FREE SPIRITS HAVE HEADED TO BIG SUR IN CALIFORNIA
Michelberger Hotel, Berlin, Germany Just navigating the website of this hotel was a total minefield (it felt like being trapped inside a videogame. Great, if you’re good at videogames). Don’t let that put you off, though, because despite the low price point, the Michelberger hotel comes with a high design spec – one that aims to make you feel like you’re chilling at your mate’s house. That doesn’t mean a load of dirty plates, but it does mean a relaxed atmosphere, with kitsch wallpaper and tonnes of books. Located in a former factory (so Berlin), the hotel’s intended to look partially unfinished, and embodies the gritty vibe the German capital has become known for. In fact, it’s just one of the trendy hotels in a city absolutely drenched in cool. HOW: Rates from £45 per room per night, michelbergerhotel.com; Ryanair offers return flights to Berline from £45, ryanair.com
Photograph by ###
Capsule Inn, Tokyo, Japan The clue’s in the name. Capsule hotels are all the rage in Japan, but not just for travellers. According to the website, they’re great for when you “miss the last train after work”, “when you’re looking for a job”, for when you’re just one of the “ladies”. Sounds like we’re missing a trick over here. It’s
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Take your pick from: Hotel Duques de Cardona; Kasbah du Toubkal; Glen Oaks Big Sur; Jack Sprat
HOTEL SAINT CECILIA HAS A REBELLIOUS ROCK’N’ROLL CHARACTER, INSPIRED BY WARHOL AND THE STONES
the novelty and the price that appeals to us for this one, though – for a bargain £15 a night (that’s a great price for anywhere, let alone Tokyo) you enter via a washing machine-like door, then lie down in your coffin/cabin very quickly. Apparently they’re also great after a night out in the city’s karaoke bars. We know our tune already: sweet dreams are made of this. Sorry. HOW: Capsule Inn offers nightly rates from £15pp, capsuleinn.com; British Airways offers return flights from £800, ba.com
Best for: Urban adventures
Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin, USA If you’re going to do Austin, Texas, then make sure you DO Austin. That doesn’t just mean bar-crawling through the best musical hangouts (although that’s a big part of it), but you should also embrace the musical vibe with the right hotel. The Hotel Saint Cecilia is just the ticket. Named after the patron saint of music, the rooms offer a rebellious rock’n’roll character (vividly coloured walls, chandeliers and retro tiles),
Photograph (right) by Nick Simonite
ABOVE: If you’re looking for a bargain, Tokyo’s Capsule Inn has small prices to reflect its, um, small feel. RIGHT: Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin
with inspiration drawn from the likes of Andy Warhol and the Stones. The bar blares out 1960s and ‘70s folk, and the 50ft pool is lit up with a neon ‘soul’ sign. As for the location? Right off the SoCal strip. HOW: Nightly rates from £210 per room, hotelsaintcecilia.com; British Airways offers return flights from £750, ba.com
Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE Gold. Marble. £910 a night. The Burj Al Arab isn’t immediately cool (unless you’re a billionaire prince), but the sheer madness of it all gets our vote. There’s the shape – it looks like a sail; the location – 250 metres off shore; and the height – 321 metres (with a helicopter landing pad at the top
SEE FIJI WITH AUSTRAVEL
ALONG WITH AN IN-HOUSE TATTOO PARLOUR, THERE’S ALSO A LIVE STAGE AND CINEMA of that). But for all the big, impressive numbers, it’s the ‘world’s most luxurious hotel’ tag (assigned by others and happily borrowed by the hotel) that’s the most important superlative here. That makes it something of an obvious choice, but you still need to see the Burj Al Arab to believe it – for mere mortals it’s a great place to pop in for afternoon tea, but you’ll need a few quid for an overnighter. HOW: Nightly rates from £910 per room, jumeirah.com; Emirates offers return flights to Dubai from £350, emirates.com
Urban House, Copenhagen, Denmark Tattoos are cool, and if your mum tells you they aren’t, she’s wrong. While some hotels offer bespoke treatments and pillow menus, what we really want is a late-night inking option. Urban House is a new hostel-hotel in the Danish capital, offering just that and more. Along with the in-house tattoo parlour, there’s also 950 beds, a live stage and a cinema. The team’s social media urges you to #DoCopenhagen. Go on then… HOW: Nightly rates from £26 per bed, urbanhouse.me; Ryanair offers return flights from £30, ryanair.com
Best for: The beach
Per AQUUM Zanzibar, Tanzania Ok so we’re cheating a little with this one – the hotel doesn’t officially open for a few months – but we’re expecting big things from Per AQUUM’s newest hotel, set on the talc-white sands of Zanzibar (this is the brand that brought travellers the world’s first underwater spa, and the world’s first underwater nightclub – both in the Maldives). It’s sure to be another playground for the rich and famous, but if your budget can stretch to it, you’ll be rewarded with luxurious, funky interiors, creative food and a cocktail menu longer than our to-do list. Oh, and the beaches in Zanzibar? Yeah, they’re pretty much some of the best we’ve seen. Anywhere. Ever. HOW: Prices TBC (start saving), peraquum.com/zanzibar; Qatar Airways offers return flights from £550, qatarairways.com Otter Creek Tents, Goa, India You’ll have to move quickly to nab a space in one of these beautiful beach-side tents in Goa (pictured, above). They aren’t any
There are tropical islands and then there are tropical islands – and Fiji is made up of more than 300 of the latter, each with its own characterful mix of dazzling sea, rugged terrain and lush, green vegetation. But to uncover the best of Fiji’s islands you’ll need an insider’s help, and they don’t come more knowledgeable than the experts at Austravel, who have over 35 years’ experience in creating holidays down under and beyond. Julie, one of Austravel’s Travel Designers, is a Fiji evangelist: “Visit the wonderful islands in Fiji,” she says, “with their truly awesome and welcoming people, gorgeous accommodation and warm hospitality.” So which islands to choose? Viti Levu, home of the bustling capital, Suva, is the largest, but just an hour’s boat ride away you’ll find the Mamanucas islands – where warm seas and palm-fringed beaches come without the throngs of tourists. To get even further off the beaten track, why not take a sailing trip to the coral gardens and white-sand beaches of Tivua island, or a jet-boat safari on the Sigatoka river for a taste of authentic island life. Fiji’s islands offer an unfiltered dose of South Sea island paradise – all you need to do now is get there…
Seven nights’ B&B at the four-star Matamanoa Island Resort from £1,749 per person – a saving of £100 per couple. Includes return international flights and in-resort transfers, for selected travel in November 2015. For more, visit austravel.com or call freephone 0808 163 6043
While at Raffles, why not visit Dubai? Legendary service since 1887 Our reputation travels
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ABOVE: Pool or sea? Life is full of difficult decisions, especially at Hotel Villa Mahal
VILLA MAHAL IN KALKAN GOES BIG ON LONG, LAZY BREAKFASTS OF YOGHURT & PANCAKES ordinary tents (camping in that heat? No thanks); in fact, as rustic as they look from the outside, inside the Otter Creek Tents are verging on luxurious, with four-poster beds, warm running water and a ceiling so high you can actually stand up properly. It’s the location that’s the winner here, though. Each tent has a private bamboo jetty leading to a salt-water creek (which keeps the mosquitoes away), and it backs on to
one of the most peaceful stretches of sand in Goa. Hell, we’re even tempted to try a downward dog. Peace and love, people! HOW: Rates from £49 per tent per night, aseascape.com; Thomson offers return flights to Goa from £450, thomson.co.uk
Hotel Villa Mahal, Kalkan, Turkey If you’re one of those people who ‘doesn’t do romance’, this hotel will soon have you reaching lovingly for your partner’s hand. The “soul quenching” property (their words, not ours) sits on a hill in Kalkan, home to that The New Forest’s postcard-worthy iconic ponies roam turquoise sea off the free, though each Lycian coast, and one’s owned by a ‘commoner’ – a more bright pink Forest local whose bougainvillea than property gives them you can shake a the right to graze animals on the land. stick at. There are 13 bedrooms to choose from and extensive grounds, so privacy during your stay is pretty much guaranteed. This place goes big on the long, lazy breakfasts: creamy yoghurt sweetened by raw honeycomb, homemade pancakes and baklava. Perfect for the bikini bod... HOW: Nightly rates from £120 per room, villamahal.com; EasyJet offers return flights to Dalaman from £100, easyjet.com
Best for: Closer to home
The Pig hotels, various, UK We’re cheating a little with this one: the Pigs are a litter of hotels scattered across the UK. But for a hip escape, they get it right every time. There are four to choose from (including Southampton, Bath and the New Forest), but we love the Pig at Studland Bay in Dorset, with views out to sea and perhaps the odd stray nudist (there’s a naturist beach nearby). Food is a big deal here – expect locally sourced garden-to-plate dishes, hefty portions of meat and huge cheese platters. These pigs know how to pamper, so leave time for a spa treatment, which takes place in a sheep hut or a barn. Oh yes. HOW: Nightly rates from £130 per room, plan ahead and book in advance, thepighotel.com; arrange travel with thetrainline.com e
THE FUTUR BRIGH 46
Photograph byPhotograph Hannah Summers by ###
This mural by RIFT is just one of the hundreds of graffiti works in Detroit. Itâ€™s located on the Infinity Wall and surrounded by other murals and abandoned factories.
Recent years have seen Detroit fall into a state of decline but, with an influx of new industry and ideas on the horizon, Hannah Summers finds that the wheels of Motor City are starting to turn again 47
DETROIT ARTISTS USE MORE PAINT PER SQUARE METRE THAN THOSE IN ANY OTHER US CITY
of thriving neighbourhoods that were once flooded with cars, wealth and people – the epitome of the American Dream. By 2013 the city had fallen so hard that, with $18 million’s worth of debts, it had to delcare bankruptcy. According to reports in the Financial Times, there were slums in Calcutta that offered more hope than parts of Detroit did. But for the first time in 56 years, the D’s population is rising. New Virgin Atlantic flights now allow access to a city crammed with art, music, fascinating history and admirable entrepreneurial spirit, where optimistic residents are eager to tell their own born-and-raised-in-Detroit story. And there are plenty of them. The Michigan Central Michigan Central Station may still Station was loom, sombre and designed by the neglected, but aided same architects as NYC’s Grand Central by savvy locals, its Station. It opened neighbourhood of in 1913 and the last Corktown – named train departed in 1988. after the influx of
THE CITY’S ROADS ARE LINED WITH THE SKELETONS OF OVER 90,000 ABANDONED BUILDINGS
Photographs by (from main): Grant Faint/Getty; Allan Munsie/Alamy; Pawel Gaul; Matt Ragen/Alamy
efore I left Detroit, a resident handed me a bumper sticker. “I have people in Detroit,” it reads. There are 700,000 people, in fact, and while that may sound like a lot, this is a city whose population reached a much higher 1.85 million in 1950. The current figure is just one more reminder of this once great industrial titan’s painful rise and fall. Detroit is a city where the good is laced with the bad; a city that somehow is doing both better and worse than you think. Outside the long-abandoned Michigan Central Station – a neglected, 18-story masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture – I watch a man take a picture of his girlfriend. Later, he might apply a dreamy Instagram filter, hashtag it #RuinPorn and upload it for the world to see. Some local Detroiters hate this crude way of showcasing their hometown, while for others it’s little more than a meaningless bit of visual fun. Either way, these artistic portraits represent the traumatic decline
Irish immigrants from County Cork in the 1840s – is experiencing a rapid, hipsterled revival. That’s where I find Ponyride, a cheap-rent facility aimed at sociallyconscious artists, and the home of several Detroit-based start-ups including Beard Balm (“Good for your face, and your marriage,” they enthuse. I’ll take several). A NEW IDEA FOR Old and new residents are A START-UP IS part of this comeback effort. GENERATED EVERY 27 In Astro Coffee, a café run by MINUTES a couple who met working at London’s Monmouth Coffee Co, IN DETROIT I meet Patricia Berdish – or ‘P from the D’, as everyone calls her – the sticker-giver, and a fiftysomething Detroit native. “My mom arrived at that train station when she was five years old,” she says, pointing at the defunct building I was just snapping. “The changes in this city are awesome. I mean, we have working
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Churches are some of the empty structures; food stalls at the Eastern Market; graffiti mural; Michigan Central Station; a Detroit-based coffee company
IN THE LAST YEAR, OVER 30 NEW RESTAURANTS HAVE OPENED IN DETROIT
The Ford Rouge traffic lights now. But factory in Dearborn living in Detroit? You produces 385,000 need to thick it out.” trucks a year, and each job takes 41 And that’s what seconds. Each team she did. Others fled has a 12-minute or the suburbs, but as break for every two hours of work. a child, Patricia lived in a one-bedroom house with her four siblings and her parents. Her grandpa worked in the famous Ford Rouge car factory. Then her dad worked there. Then, finally, it was Patricia’s turn. It’s car manufacturing that once kept Motor City moving, and Henry Ford, Detroit’s most famous son (rivalled by Eminem, and, er, Kid Rock) sparked the industry in 1908 with his game-changing Ford Model T. You can still see the brand’s assembly line in progress today, and I watch captivated as gargantuan F-150 pickup trucks slide through the factory, tended to by casually dressed staff and robots that work together to produce a truck a minute. Ford is the don of the Detroit success story, but other car manufacturers that couldn’t, or wouldn’t, compete with Asian post-war competition helped propel the city into one of the largest financial collapses in US history. Today the city’s empty roads are lined with the eerie skeleton structures of over 90,000 long-abandoned buildings – certainly an eyesore for some, but visual viagra for a Londoner constantly confronted with generic new-build flats. Tours are available, but instead I take a ride with Jeff Herron, a social justice lawyer who’s moved here to spur on the revival. Our first stop wouldn’t look out of place in a post-apocalyptic thriller. Today the former Packard car plant exists only as a photographer’s dream, and I tiptoe through dilapidated, damp rooms filled with
THE VISUAL RESULT OF ALL OF DETROIT’S DESOLATION IS AN INTRIGUING, FADED BEAUTY
Photograph by Hannah Summers
Thankfully, some people do have cash to splash. None more so than billionaire Dan Gilbert, who’s purchased 60 downtown buildings for the bargain sum of $1.7 billion, while also convincing tech companies such as Twitter and Microsoft to create satellite offices in the city. Despite the new shops and restaurants, the Downtown district is still eerily quiet by London standards. There’s no throng of city workers, and bumbling, slow-walking tourists are virtually unheard of. Though Detroit DETROIT IS suffers a reputation as one of the HOME TO THE most dangerous cities in the US ABOVE: The Lincoln Street Art Park was SECOND-LARGEST – a reputation backed up by the founded by Matt Naimi, who wanted to THEATRE DISTRICT statistics – I don’t feel unsafe. encourage locals to recycle. The site also hosts parties and quirky furniture-based art The visual result of this IN THE US AFTER desolation is an intriguing faded NEW YORK beauty. Empty, ornately decorated buildings – the former sites of abandoned desks and debris that sit RIFT, a crazy, luminousballrooms, hotels and theatres – stretch within a teetering structure whose future orange jumble of symbols into the sky, stark reminders that this was will be decided by a Spanish developer. and letters from Kosek and three plodding once America’s most wealthy city. “The Meanwhile, the Lincoln Motor turtles by an artist known as Turdl. roofs aren’t as fancy anymore, because Company’s former site has already It’s not just for hardcore graffiti fans the ornaments kept falling off and injuring been cheerily revived. Now home to the either. In a tight-knit Latino neighbourhood people,” Jeff remarks, as we pass by a sign Lincoln Street Art Park, a party site and where gardens are strewn with toys and that says “free coffee with the purchase of recycling programme that urges locals to twirling plastic flowers, we find a green the Wurlitzer building” – an appeal from the #ShareYourCandy, it’s a green space of arty caterpillar mural. He romps merrily across neighbouring shop’s owner for someone to a school playground’s abandoned furniture, including a horse purchase and repair the structure. Sintex (also known walls, his smiley face structure made out of plastic chairs, and Downtown is easily walkable, but I fork as Brian Glass), providing optimism a repurposed shipping container – now a out 75 cents for the novelty of seeing it from studied at Detroit’s and inspiration – no classroom, of course. Blue, red and yellow the front of the People Mover, a monorail College for Creative wonder the city’s LINCOLN letters line the building, a nod to designed in the 1970s. Today it skirts along Studies and NYC’s Pratt Institute. His children aspire to be the site’s former motoring glory. the restored riverfront, with views over to street art is some of entrepreneurs more It’s at nearby Milwaukee Junction that Canada, past planned hotels and the most celebrated than any other job. I really see the part street art now plays in in America. One of those Detroit’s identity. Driving past the hundreds ambitious kids was politically-minded of smashed-out windows of the decrepit Detroit-born artist Sintex, who, motivated Fisher Body 21 factory (rumoured to soon by comic books, now decorates the Grand be converted into a techno club as part of River Creative Corridor with some of the the Detroit-Berlin Connection, a 60-yearmost visited murals in the state of Michigan old rave-loving Berliner’s revival effort), – including the black and white painting we pause at a crumbling building adorned of Rosa Parks, the ‘mother of the freedom with a soaring multi-coloured mural. A tiger movement’ who famously didn’t volunteer charges across the brick, while along the her bus seat for a white person in front are the words “Rise Up” – a 1955, and who moved to Detroit symbol of the speed at which in the 1960s. the city is moving forward. Driving on, I sit back If this place has been for the calmest, most carspoiled in any way, it’s less rush hour I’ve ever with talented artists. THE CURRENT seen. “That building At the nearby ‘infinity CAMPAIGN TO was supposed to be a wall’, a stretch of #SAYNICETHINGS jail,” Jeff comments empty road cocooned WAS STARTED BY A as we approach within a ring SMALL BUSINESS Downtown. “It’s a bad abandoned buildings, location, but the city ran I stroll the who’s- OWNER IN out of money before it was who of the art scene: a THE 1970S even finished.” purple cartoon shark by
ABOVE: This 27-panel mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts took Mexican artist Diego Rivera nine months to complete. BELOW: the People Mover monorail is the best way to appreciate the buildings of Downtown
once-prosperous factories and ruined buildings (there’s still an average of 14 arson incidents a day, but the Afterhouse project is converting many buildings into greenhouses), while some spaces have developed into locally run urban farms – 1,300 have sprung up in the past few years. It’s this local enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit that will help drive the city forward. Detroit’s motto refers to the great fire of 1805 that wiped out the entire city: “We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes.” And I have no doubt it will do so again. On my last day I leave my book at a bench provided by Sit On It Detroit – a community initiative aimed at addressing the lack of seating in the city by creating book-swapping benches out of repurposed wood from burned-out homes. Detroit is full of good ideas like this. It’s a city of hospitality, honesty and hope. If, like me, you’re always rooting for the underdog, then this is your town. And you’ll have people in Detroit, too. e
NEED TO KNOW Stay in a converted factory via airbnb.com; take a bike ride with Slow Roll Detroit, a weekly group cycle that stops off at neighbourhood bars and shops (slowroll.bike); book a graffiti tour with thedetroitbus.com; Virgin Atlantic offers return economy fares from London Heathrow to Detroit from £489 pp. virginatlantic.com; visitdetroit.com
Photographs by Hannah Summers
new shops, before weaving through the classic sites: the grand Guardian building; Greektown, the former fur-trade epicentre (now home to casinos and garish bars); and Lafayette Coney Island hot-dog restaurant, a sticky-tabled institution where I chomp through chilli-laden hot dogs (a Detroit staple) alongside enthusiastic locals kitted out in orange silks for the evening’s Tigers baseball game. THE URBAN I clock even more murals FARMING decorating the Z-deck, a COMMUNITY IN Downtown multi-story car DETROIT PRODUCES park, but craving more ENOUGH FRUIT AND history, I take a taxi to ‘the VEG TO FEED Temple’, aka the Detroit Institute of Arts, which, come 20% OF THE Autumn 2016, will be even COMMUNITY whose vinyl and easier to reach thanks to the pictures scatter the new M-train connecting Midtown museum’s walls today. to Downtown. Inside the bright Detroit’s past may be marble atrium I gaze up at Diego Rivera’s famous for soul music, but the city is still 27-panel mural depicting workers at the home to some blinding live venues: where Ford Factory during the Great Depression else can you watch bands in the trippy, neoof 1932. Today it exists as one of the city’s gothic architecture of the largest Masonic most prized possessions, alongside Van Temple in the world? Downtown I find street Gogh’s self-portrait, which is rumoured to cleaners, grannies and teens shimmying be moving to Japan. “It’s a shame it might together at an al-fresco concert in be going because this city is coming back Harmonie Park. The streets and abandoned in full force,” the gallery guide tells me, warehouses mark the old, and current, “but it’s an underground movement, and sites of raves – the city was the birthplace cosmetically you don’t see it. Yet.” of techno in the 1980s – and the gritty What you do see is enthusiasm. Heaps of rebellious vibe makes it. At the Motown Museum I’m led through The Masonic Temple it the host city for the an interactive rendition of Motown’s birth, was saved from anti-commercial EDM which has me dancing (no walking allowed foreclosure when festival, Movement. here, thanks) from room to room. “Berry the White Stripes’ For something a Gordy,” our teenage guide sings at us, Jack White paid $142,000 in taxes little more chilled, I “worked two days at the Ford factory and to save it. It now head to Old Miami, a said it was the dullest job he ever had. So houses the Jack dive bar that opened he quit.” In true Detroit entrepreneurial White Theatre. for Vietnam veterans spirit, Gordy founded Motown Records, in the 1970s – it’s a dimly lit venue, where his home-grown record label, in 1959 you can rave it up, or flop onto defeated and went on to sign the likes of Stevie sofas while guzzling some Michigan-brewed Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations Raggedy Ass IPAs and Ghettoblasters – “the and other crazily successful Motown acts beer you can hear”. Time to work off the booze belly. Cycling in Motor City is surprisingly laid-back – eight-lane roads, no cars, miles of bike lanes on the way – and it’s the best way to reach the Eastern Market (the largest historic market in the country, and a hotbed of antique shops and food stalls) as well as the more affluent neighbourhoods such as Indian Village, where huge, Home Alonestyle mansions are set along handsome tree-lined boulevards. For a city so blighted, it’s unexpectedly green. Plants splinter the cement of
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BEER A LOAFIN IN LOST IRELAN 54
County Mayoâ€™s rugged west coast islands offer a warm welcome to Rob Crossan, who discovers an area unconcerned with modernisation, and seemingly all the better for it
Photograph by ###
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CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Tranquil Achill is positively heaving compared to neighboring Clare Island; Irish pub culture still thrives in this part of the country; hardy resident sheep
bulging donkey jacket stands up and sings in a resonant, mournful burr: and we’ll all meet tonight every child woman and man, for we know in our heart that we’ll always be part, of a proud and wonderful land, yes we’ll all meet tonight and we’ll sing as loud as we can, of an island so green, that can only be seen through the eyes of an Irishman. There’s no applause when he finishes his song. Just the resumption of a warm conversational hum as the wind from the
Atlantic hurls itself against the windows and the fire crackles and purrs. “This is the last of the old Ireland,” says Trisha later that ‘Sleepy’ is one word afternoon as our that could be used ferry, carrying myself, to describe Clare eight locals, one Island. It’s merely five miles long, three sheep, seven sacks of miles wide and cattle feed, one car home to around 170 door and 18 crates of people. Hopefully they all get on... eggs, moors up at the Clare Island jetty. A chef at the island’s lighthouse, which is now converted into a five-bedroom hotel, Trisha knows plenty about the hardships, and the savage beauty of life here on Ireland’s far west coastline. “I thought I’d go for a pint at the pub last night,” she tells me as we take her rather ancient 4x4 down narrow, gravel-strewn lanes, slate-coloured mountains, tobaccocoloured bogs and stoic-looking sheep passing by on either side of us. “But the landlord had put a little sign on the door. ‘Too tired after last night’. There’s no policeman here on the island so we tend to be pretty elastic about things here.” For a taste of the Emerald Isle completely untouched by four-leaf clovers, stag parties, American coach tours and general ‘blarney’, the islands strewn like
Photographs by (clockwise from main) Siim V/Alamy; TadhgD/Alamy; STOCKFOLIO® /Alamy; Cultura Creative (RF)/Alamy
here’s a hush in Leonard’s Bar in the village of Lahardane. I look around, taking in the turf fire emitting a vaporous warmth inside the tiny pub with ceilings and floors the colour of nicotine and chocolate. I gaze opposite me at the shelves, crammed full of loaves of O’Hara soda bread, cream crackers and detergent. A man at the bar coughs, takes a sip from his Guinness and takes his glass eye off the counter and stuffs it in his pocket. This pub may, like so many in remote County Mayo, double up as a corner shop. But it’s the impromptu melodies that surprise me more. A man with scrambled yellow hair and a
confetti off the coast of County Mayo offer a taste of an Ireland long before the Celtic Tiger so briefly roared in the 1990s. A few remnants of that bizarre time are still here – in the form of the odd ugly, pebble dashed, new-build bungalow – a testament to a time of low interest rates, and even lower architectural tastes. But for the most part, County Mayo is a place that has stood frozen in the past. Achill Island, reached by road bridge from the mainland and my first port of call after Leonard’s Bar on the mainland is a world of silent boglands, heather-strewn slopes and white sandy beaches with vapour trails of sand that swirl and taper around my feet as the aquamarine Atlantic Ocean bubbles and roars ahead of me. The thin ribbon Author Graham of roads in these Greene was a fan of parts makes for Achill, and sought perfect driving inspiration for some of his best poetry country. I stop at the from the island’s abandoned village of dramatic scenery, Slievemore, where while staying in a dilapidated house. roofless remains
ACHILL ISLAND IS A WORLD OF BOGLANDS, HEATHERSTREWN SLOPES AND WHITE SANDY BEACHES
ABOVE: The only things you’ll find in Slievemore today are roofless cottage remains; RIGHT: A fishing harbour on Achill
I WANDER DOWN LANES AS THE FROTHY MIST OF THE OCEAN SWIRLS AROUND ME 58
own villages in winter. The practice finally died out as late as the 1940s. Nobody is sure why booley-ing came to an end in Slievemore so late on, though standing amid the ruins with the billowing gusts of wind whipping my face, it isn’t too hard to understand why later generations preferred to be nestled amid the peat fires and local pubs in the villages of Keel and Dooagh to this exposed outpost. Clare Island, after the jolting and lurching boat ride from the mainland the next day, makes Achill seem like downtown Manhattan. On Trisha’s advice, I wander down the narrow lanes as the frothy mist of the ocean seems to swirl around me, and stumble upon a squat tower house, home of a certain Grace O’Malley – the 16thcentury pirate queen who ruled the seas in these parts from Galway down to Donegal – whose remains are buried in the island’s 13th-century abbey; an eerie space filled with frescos depicting cattle raids, hunting and fishing. Grace O’Malley Returning to the was known to be a island’s lighthouse formidable woman, hotel I find a chic, famous for taking bloody revenge restrained piece of against anyone renovation by new stupid enough to German owners. wrong her. Beats an angry text message. White-washed walls,
four-poster beds, shelves of books on Irish history and dinner (cooked by Trisha) that includes perfectly Fishing is one soft and flakey hake of Achill’s main followed by a plate draws for tourists, of locally-sourced and there have even been several cheeses. shark sightings in As the dying light the chilly Atlantic slowly envelopes the waters surrounding the island. hills and the sablecoloured fields turn to maroon then to charcoal black, I seek out to the living room of the hotel and pick up a book written by the very last lighthouse keeper, Jackie O’Grady, who, at 7.40am on 29 September 1965 lit this remote tower for passing ships for the very last time. “It cast its welcoming beam over the surrounding hills and seemed to linger for a moment or two on the more familiar ones,” he wrote. “As if to bid them a final farewell. The seagulls still hovered lazily, high above the lighthouse dome but this morning in much greater numbers than before. It seemed as if they knew that today was the last day that they’d be disturbed at this early hour of sunrise.” The old lighthouse may no longer beam across these waters. But the glorious isolation, ragged cliffs and watery sunshine of the west coast lives on, untouched and impervious to the outside world. e For more info on County Mayo, go to ireland.com
GETTING THERE Ryanair offers flights to Knock in west Ireland from London Stanstead from £40 return (ryanair.com); Aer Lingus fly from London Gatwick to Knock from £129 return (aerlingus.com). An adult fare on the Clare Island Ferry costs €15 return (clareislandferry.com)
Photographs by David Lyons / Alamy (Slievemore); Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy (Achill)
of stone cottages seem to huddle together against the rasping wind and rain. Slievemore was the very last place in Ireland that the ancient practice of ‘booley’ took place, whereby locals would migrate to the village in the summer to tend their livestock on the mountains before returning to their
ILLUSTRATION by Ben Tallon
t’s no a h t t aks, bu ins. Just e p s u ntaino s Jon Hawk e beach u o m for its wheels, say r you on th d e m y be fa se it on two h waiting fo a m a i St Luc ot to traver a rum punc n t reason re you’ve go su make 61
t takes me all of 30 seconds to wonder why I’ve swapped my lounger on the beach for the saddle of a bike. Half an hour ago I’d been flopped in front of a sun-drenched panorama of gently swaying palms and blue, slightly agitated sea; now, I’m cranking up a road that’s cruelly steep and littered with potholes. The mid-afternoon sun, which a few minutes earlier had been my friend, feels like it’s burning Mont Ventoux has holes in my lycra. gained notoriety Going for a spin on as one of the most a tropical island felt gruelling climbs in the Tour de France. like a brilliant idea As a result, it’s when I’d thought of it acquired the rather a few months earlier. charming nickname ‘Beast of Provence’. I was visiting St Lucia anyway, I could get my hands on a bike, and I’d have plenty of time to take selfies by the infinity pool once I got back from nailing Strava segments. But the first seeds of doubt are sown in the cab ride from the airport, which takes us from the south of the island to boutique hotel Cap Maison in the north via winding roads that rise sharply upwards, slicing
through rainforests where vegetation drips with humidity. In its own way, this is cycling terrain as brutal and alien as the bare, scorched summit of Mont Ventoux. I’m not feeling a lot more confident as I click-clack through the hotel grounds in my cycling shoes in search of Ross Stevenson, the hotel’s GM, who is unloading a pair of road bikes from the back of his SUV.
I’VE SWAPPED MY LOUNGER ON THE BEACH FOR A BIKE SADDLE
TRI ST LUCIA SWIM, BIKE, RUN THE ISLAND On 21 November, the small Caribbean island will host its third triathlon – with a swim that takes place in the Atlantic sea, a scenic, undulating bike route and a flat run that takes in Pigeon Island in the northwest of the island. Founded by hotelier and St Lucia resident Adam Gobat, along with double Olympic gold medalist Daley Thompson and Human Race’s John Lunt, the triathlon combines the best of St Lucia’s natural beauty with a fun and competitive spirit. There are three distances – the supersprint Dagger, sprint-distance Pistol and longer Cutlass – so anyone from beginners to elite triathletes can compete. We’ll see you afterwards in the bar… For more info: humanrace.co.uk; stlucianow.co.uk
ABOVE: If you can tear yourself away from St Lucia’s beaches – such as this one at Cap Maison – head for the hills on two wheels
If anyone knows about cycling in St Lucia, it’s him – a British expat who moved to the island in April 2000, he’s a fanatical cyclist and an evangelist for riding these roads. His bike – custom made by Yorkshire framemaker Ricky Feather (you can drool over pics of it on Feather’s website) – even has a subtle reference to St Lucia’s best known icons, the Pitons, on the seat tube. As we set off, past hotel guests making their way to the beach I’ve just deserted, we attract a few bemused looks from people probably wondering – like me – why you’d voluntarily don skin-tight synthetic fabrics to do serious exercise rather than knock back rum punch and work on your tan. The answer quickly reveals itself, once I’ve hauled myself over the hill that leads out of Cap Maison and shaken the long-haul fatigue from my The Pitons are a legs. We soon hit national symbol quiet backroads that of St Lucia. The lead away from the island’s local beer is even named after coast and into green, them, although we’d undeveloped land and suggest sampling tiny villages full of it AFTER you’ve attempted a climb. colourful, ramshackle
HALF AN HOUR AGO I’D BEEN FLOPPED IN FRONT OF A SUNDRENCHED PANORAMA; NOW I’M CRANKING UP A STEEP ROAD houses – we’re minutes from the resorts, yet pedalling through places few tourists will ever see. The heat, though, is oppressive and heavy, and I’m straining to get enough air into my lungs. The water in my bottle has quickly turned hot and tastes plasticky – though in any case, I seem to be sweating it out much faster than I can drink it. We ride through the outskirts of Gros Islet and past the island’s temple to its favourite sport. Beauséjour Stadium is a modern construction with a backdrop of rolling hills, with surrounding roads named after St Lucian cricket heroes from the past (the late Mindoo Phillip) and present (Garey Mathurin). The road punches through forests and settlements, and the climbs, when they come, are short and sharp, almost as though purpose-built to inflict maximum hurt in minimum time. By the time we arrive back on the main road that skirts the northwestern coast, I feel like the bottom half of my body has been in a fight.
WHERE TO STAY CAP MAISON The words ‘boutique’ and ‘resort’ aren’t natural bedfellows, but Cap Maison is a true boutique resort in more than just name. There’s plenty to do on-site – including a spa, a small but perfectly formed private beach and some of the best food in the Carribean – but Cap Maison manages to remain compact, distinctive and friendly. Book an ocean-view room and prepare for some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. From £275 per night B&B in a garden room, based on two sharing. capmaison.com
ANSE CHASTANET The southwest of St Lucia is dominated by the iconic Pitons, and few places on the island offer such uncorrupted views as Anse Chastanet, which sits literally off the beaten track among sprawling vegetation and steep hills. There, you’ll find one of the finest beaches on the island (and another, smaller sibling next door), several restaurants, each with a distinctive atmosphere and cuisine, and an easygoing Caribbean vibe. From £352 per night half-board in a standard room, based on two sharing. ansechastanet.com
Photograph by (c) LarsenCollinge International
I’M BUZZING WITH MANIC ENERGY AND TOTALLY EXHILARATED
I’m also buzzing with manic energy, dripping with sweat and totally exhilarated. Whatever I’d expected from St Lucia, this wasn’t it, but it’s hard to imagine a better way to get off the tourist trail and into the beating heart of the island. Ross leads us back through the resort of Rodney Bay, with its rows of rum shacks and packed marina, and we take a detour along the narrow, manmade causeway to Pigeon Island. We pull up where the tarmac gives way to sand, and watch as on the southern side the sea laps gently on white sands, while to the north it lashes wildly at rocks. A few minutes later, I’m guiding my bike carefully down the same hill we’d climbed to get out of the resort, and rolling slowly back into the car park. If I Regarded as one of didn’t understand the the most important point of cycling in monuments to St Lucia before, I sure St Lucia’s history, Pigeon Island is as hell do now after a national park my short but epic and was the site of journey – while the battles between the French and English. beach, and that
ABOVE: The beach at Anse Chastanet comes with spectacular views of St Lucia’s famous Pitons (that’s the mountains, and the beer)
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ABOVE: Cycling through the site of an old sugarcane plantation at Anse Chastanet is a good way to explore St Lucia’s past
TINKER’S TRAIL HAS MYTHICAL STATUS, WITH A STEEP ZIGZAG ROUTE UP THE VALLEY
rum punch, haven’t gone anywhere. A few days later I’m back in the saddle again, though this time I’m at the opposite end of the island and I’ve left the roads behind. The resort of Anse Chastanet, in the southwest of St Lucia and a short way outside the tiny city of Soufrière, occupies a slice of land so prime that every view looks like its been Photoshopped before it reaches your eyes. The main beach is a long stretch of sand flanked by rocky cliffs, but a short walk away is a smaller beach called Anse Mamin. Behind its dark, palm-shaded sands you’ll find a valley with a network of mountain biking trails that range from fun, beginner-friendly loops to vertiginous, rootstrewn routes that would test any rider. On one of the resort’s rentable Cannondale hardtails, I start with some of the easier routes, all of which wrap around a former sugarcane plantation where cocoa pods litter the ground and the odd ruined building offers a stark reminder of a dark past, when slaves were put to work under brutal conditions. If cycling isn’t your thing, a guided tour of the plantation is a fascinating and deeply sobering insight into the history of the land. The valley is thick with humid heat and the pungent smell of tropical vegetation, damp and still dripping from an earlier rainstorm – fallen palm fronds, slippery tree roots and sharp changes of direction and elevation mean you can’t take your
eye off the ball for a second. It’s ridiculous fun, whether you’re a beginner or a trail regular, and soon I’m seeking out trickier loops that weave between trees and skim rocks, cutting up into the valley sides. One – Tinker’s trail, named for veteran mountain biking legend Tinker Juarez, who created it – has almost mythical status, with a steep, narrow route that zig-zags its way up the valley. If you can reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views on the west coast. I pass the small sign that announces the start of the trail full of optimism, yet it only takes a couple of Tinker Juarez is switchbacks for it to one of the world’s dawn on me that this best mountain bike isn’t going to be easy racers, so you can be certain that a trail – or even possible. My created by him will tyres slip on glossy mean business (so green rocks and as I you’d better make sure you do too). grit my teeth and try to wrestle the bike up the trail, tree roots and ruts appear out of nowhere. I wobble to a stop as my balance deserts me and my skill, which was never there in the first place, runs out. Defeated and exhausted, I coast back to the bike hire centre and make a beeline for the beach, pausing before I hurl myself into the water to look out to sea with an inane, mile-wide grin etched across my mudsplattered face. I’ll be back – and next time I’ll make it to the top. e
ON YOUR BIKE While St Lucia might be a great place to get out on two wheels, you’ll need to do some planning before you get there. If you want to ride on the road – and you don’t have a friend on the ground – bringing your own is your best bet. Virgin Atantic will let you carry a bike bag (up to 23kg) for no extra charge, in addition to your regular baggage allowance. Virgin Atlantic flies from London Gatwick to St Lucia from £489 return. virgin-atlantic.com Jungle Biking at Anse Chastanet can be organised through the resort, and a few places each day are reserved for non-resident guests. bikestlucia.com
EXPERIENCE LIVING HISTORY AT “SCHLOSSHOTEL KRONBERG” The castle and the park were built and created in 1889 by Empress Frederick, who shaped an impressive country estate that was clearly inspired by her British descent. In 1954 Schlosshotel Kronberg opened to the public as a luxurious castle hotel, owned by the family foundation of the Landgraves and Princes of Hesse. It still reflects the elegance and ambience of the Belle Époque and makes visitors feel like back in time. 62 luxurious suites and rooms and eight historic parlours are stately decorated and offer panoramic views of the park with an amazing 18-hole golf course, the Taunus Mountains and the impressive skyline of nearby Frankfurt. Schlosshotel Kronberg is the perfect choice for a romantic weekend getaway or for business travelers, who prefer meetings in a tranquil setting or relaxing after a busy day in bustling Frankfurt. HAINSTRASSE 25 . 61476 KRONBERG IM TAUNUS TELEPHONE 0049 (0)61 73 / 701 – 01 . TELEFAX 0049 (0)61 73 / 701 – 267 INFO@SCHLOSSHOTEL-KRONBERG.DE . WWW.SCHLOSSHOTEL-KRONBERG.DE
SHOW YOUR COLOU Madrid’s top two clubs may be close on the pitch, but they’re chalk and cheese off it. Mike Gibson explores the city’s unique football culture 68
t’s a clear February day in Madrid, and I’m looking on as a 20-yearold named Saúl Ñíguez changes a small but hugely significant part of the identity of the city, with one acrobatic twist of his leg. The venue is the Vicente Calderón stadium in the south of the city, home to Atlético Madrid football club. My seat is up in the gods, and I’m watching on as, a few moments after Atlético Madrid take an surprise early lead against their arch-rivals Real Madrid in a fiery local derby, their influential midfielder Koke is stricken with injury. Koke has to be substituted, so Saúl, the young Madrilenian, enters the fray. What happens next is one of those football stories. Atleti fans are packed into the cracked concrete amphitheatre, smoke from smuggled joints and the smell of popcorn in the air. For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo is visibly furious; Gareth Bale is trying all he can but is ineffective. Atlético’s Guilherme Siqueira receives the ball, advances down the left wing towards the touchline and chips a floated cross just behind Saúl, whose reaction is to abruptly turn his back towards the goal and cannon the ball off the left post and in with a fantastic bicycle kick. It isn’t his first appearance for the club, but it is his first goal, and a vital one at that. Two more follow in the second half, but realistically the game is won at the moment Saúl makes it 2-0. The Atleti fans are roaring and jubilant by the time the third and fourth go in, and when the crowd spills out of
Photograph by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno Photograph / Getty Images by ###
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ALWAYS AHEAD OF THE GAME
ABOVE: Real Madrid’s vaunted stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, is one of the biggest in Europe, with a capacity of almost 90,000
the old stadium and we join them on the way back to the city centre, they’re clearly thrilled that, for now at least, the town is painted red and white. Saúl is the jewel in the crown of a performance that gives Atleti their biggest win over Real Madrid since 1987, and one you could argue finally convinces Spain’s football community – whom Atleti had already stunned with a miraculous league title the year before – that their city rivals can not only be beaten, but outclassed. At 20, the man of the match is already firmly entrenched in Madrid’s football culture,
Photograph by Alamy, Maria Galan
MADRID IS A FOOTBALLING CITY, AND THAT FACT IS EVIDENT EVERYWHERE YOU GO
having represented all three of its major clubs – Real, Atlético and the suburban Real Vallecano on loan – already. Released from the hyper-competition of Real Madrid’s youth team system at 14, he jumped across the divide to the Vicente Calderón stadium, where he found progressive coaching, a patient youth team setup and, much to Real Madrid’s chagrin, the platform on which to become a figurehead in his hometown. That city, Madrid, is unquestionably a footballing one, and that fact is evident everywhere: in the winding backstreets surrounding La Plaza Mayor I find a tapas bar where a blinking TV churns out coverage from late-night matches elsewhere around the country. I stop to grab a vermouth and chat in (admittedly broken) Spanish to the owner, a Real Madrid fan. These are Real/Atleti borderlands – parts of the city with no real adherence to one club over the other, where even members of the same family aren’t always guaranteed to share an allegiance. But if Madrid’s central backstreets are split, the divide between the two teams is overwhelmingly apparent on the approach to Atleti’s home in the city’s Arganzuela district, which is surrounded by partially crumbling apartment blocks, rebel yells and the smell of Madrid is split into wet concrete in the neighbourhoods, air. It’s a bracing each with its own entrance to a feel. Arganzuela, to the south of the city clanking, rickety centre, is home to stadium that feels the 55,000-seater like a relic from a Vicente Calderón bygone era of football stadium.
– shirts are worn not just with pride, but something approaching tribalism. And the difference is equally apparent in both of the districts surrounding the Vicente Calderón and Real Madrid’s 85,000-seater stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu – which is in the thick of La Castellana, Madrid’s banking district and home to the city’s only real crop of glass-walled office buildings and multi-storey skyscrapers. “I asked a Real Madrid fan what he thought about it once,” Madrid-based journalist and Spanish football expert Sid Lowe tells me, “and he said ‘It’s caviar and cocido.’ – this idea of the most refined, brilliant football against this hearty, but perhaps a bit gristly, club – in social and political terms, as well as footballing ones.” Most major footballing cities are home to a frontrunner and an underdog – in England, Liverpool have historically dominated while Everton have toiled for smaller rewards; in Manchester, only an eye-watering influx of cash has catapulted Man City to parity with United – and in Spain, it’s even harder, with the money from TV rights stacked enormously in favour of its top two clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s the reason why the tribal roar from the Atleti fans rings so loudly through the air before, during and long after this trouncing of their more illustrious neighbours. A tour of the Bernabéu the next day brings it home to me personally. With the dust settled, we arrive by taxi for a tour of the stadium, before stepping out for a bite
SEE IT FOR YOURSELF Online football trip specialist footballbreak.co.uk offers fully customisable, ATOL-protected football trips to see top European fixtures in Spain’s La Liga, the German Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1. Packages include guaranteed match tickets seated together; accommodation; return flights; plus a wide range of optional extras. Trips are currently available from £199 per person based on two nights’ accommodation, return flights and match tickets. For more info: footballbreak.co.uk
REAL ARE A COLOSSUS – AND WALKING AROUND THE STADIUM RAMS HOME THE POINT
Interested in the way finances, rivalries and politics shape Spanish football? No one covers it more extensively than Sid Lowe in his book Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid. As well as going in-depth into one of the most famous rivalries in football, it also describes how the Spanish civil war shaped the Spanish teams of the modern era. Fear and Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona vs Real Madrid by Sid Lowe, published by Yellow Jersey (out now in paperback, £9.99).
Atlético Madrid home game and miss that descent into a rougher but equally noble place – one that seems so suited to the team and the fans it houses – seems unthinkable. As for Saúl, the player who vanquished the club that chewed him up and spat him out as a youngster? He’s done what he had to and found somewhere he’s loved, surrounded by positivity, and where he’ll presumably stay for at least a few more years. I just hope that Atlético can do the same. e Mike was a guest of footballbreak.co.uk
BELOW: It may feel older than its Real Madrid counterpart, but when it’s rocking, the Vicente Calderón is a cauldron
Photograph by ###
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Photograph by Apo Caballero
to eat at a trendy feeling tapas restaurant in the thick of the malls and towers. It’s a far cry from the grit and gristle of La Arganzuela and the Vicente Calderón – and it explains the reason why Lowe describes Atlético Madrid’s 2013-14 La Liga win as “possibly the biggest achievement there has ever been in Spanish football”. But for all the love of a great underdog story, Real Madrid’s history and grandeur is equally thrilling to me. Walking around the beautiful stadium, especially its seemingly neverending trophy room, you can feel the weight of a club whose gigantic profile typifies the reason why football is the world’s best-loved sport. They’re a colossus, one of the world’s true sporting giants, and everything about the stadium – from its location to the almost cinematic, panoramic view from the touchline – rams home the point. There’s a reason that Lowe tells me, “in terms of media coverage, in terms of finances, in terms of the players they’ve got, every single season is about Real Madrid and Barcelona – even when it’s not.” Skip forward three months, and Real Madrid end up finishing the season 14 points better off than their neighbours, who may not for decades emulate their mammoth feat in 2013 due to the barriers stacked against them, but who are still closer to it than almost any other time in their history. Real Madrid, in turn, end up losing out to Barcelona in their pursuit of their 33rd championship win. There were to be no victory parades in Madrid last summer.
So what next? It’s clearly superb for Madrid as a city to have two genuinely topclass football clubs, and, having immersed myself in both clubs, and seeing for myself how happy it makes Atlético fans to claim the city for themselves, if only briefly, I think two clubs work perfectly as they are. They each reflect, in their own way, the things we love about the sport – the graft and the grandeur; the hard-earned honour and the effortless opulence – as well as the vibrancy and intrigue that football brings to a city that’s as captivating as Spain’s capital. But Atleti have been rumoured, in the decidedly unromantic terms football sometimes operates in, to be moving out of their home in the south of Madrid, where they’re generously represented by their fans, into a shiny new one further afield. “To move to the north-east – which is kind of airport, business territory – for a club so conscious of its identity, I think it could really damage them,” Lowe tells me. Unfortunately, in football, money talks. At least Lowe himself doubts the imminent reality of a move that’s been seemingly on the brink of occurring for years. Real Madrid fans are happy to trek out to the glass towers of La Castellana to watch their team – it’s a fair price to pay for supporting a club Real Madrid are whose profile and one of the most corporate identity decorated teams makes them the bestin world football, with a record ten known in the world European Cups, – but to think that the last of which in the near future, was won in a final against Atlético. you could go to an
Beach Idyll Beautiful beaches, adventure and culture – St Lucia, Barbados and Tobago have something for every traveller. Explore the best of them with British Airways
f you try to conjure up your idea of paradise, chances are the Caribbean would come pretty close – sugar-white beaches, luxurious resorts and miles and miles of aquamarine seas make it one of the most idyllic destinations on earth. And at around eight hours’ flight from London, it’s an ideal place to enjoy some well-deserved R&R. But which of its many islands to visit? St Lucia, Barbados and Tobago – with adventure, vibrant culture and movie-star coastlines wrapped into each one – should be right at the top of your ultimate Caribbean wishlist. Whether it’s exploring the rainforest and
peaks of St Lucia, enjoying the beats and beaches of Barbados or diving among coral in blissed-out Tobago, there’s something for everyone in these diverse and indulgent islands. And British Airways has a wide variety of topclass resorts from which to choose – all you have to do is pick one. Tough life, isn’t it?
In association with
St Lucia What sets St Lucia apart from its Caribbean neighbours are the swathes of thick, fresh-green rainforest that blanket the island, making it a truly tropical-looking paradise. The north offers a wide choice of bars and restaurants and plenty of golden beaches to keep your tan topped up, while the south is a more tranquil affair with volcanic beaches and a real get-back-to-nature vibe. This surplus of natural beauty makes St Lucia one of the most romantic places in the world; you’ll be hard pushed to find a finer spot for lazy days followed by candlelit dinners for two.
P ROM OT IONAL F E ATU R E
THE RESORT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HELP YOU RELAX, INCLUDING AN AWARDWINNING SPA & DELICIOUS FOOD
The BodyHoliday ST LUCIA
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Relax on sunloungers at The BodyHoliday’s infinity pool, with views of the Caribbean Sea; a Luxury Ocean View Room; Tai Chi at the resort’s Coubaril Valley; the immaculate beach at The BodyHoliday
The northern tip of St Lucia gives off a secluded and relaxed air, but is still close enough to the island’s main draws – namely, the stunning, mountainous landscape – to feel like you’re in among the action. It’s here that you’ll find the peaceful and rejuvenating The BodyHoliday, a healthy retreat offering wholesome experiences that are guaranteed to return you to London life refreshed and rejuvenated. Relaxation comes first at this all-inclusive five-star hotel. The BodyHoliday has everything you need to rid you of the stresses of daily life, including an awardwinning spa where guests benefit from one free spa treatment each full day of their stay, and tasty, nutritious food in its wide range of restaurants. Certain months are themed around a different aspect of wellness – get stuck into JiveJune, with 16 different dance classes each week covering the jive to tango, as well as WellFit Families, where teenagers and adults alike can get their hearts racing with activities including waterfall THE abseiling, diving, and tennis. DEAL
Seven-night all-inclusive holidays with British Airways start from just £1,629pp. For more information and to book, go to ba.com/thebodyholiday
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort ST LUCIA St Lucia isn’t all stunning beaches and bays – although it does these rather well, too – it’s also home to some true natural wonders. The iconic Piton mountains, lush rainforest and even a ‘drive in’ volcano stand St Lucia apart from its Caribbean cousins. The Pitons are brought into sharp focus at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy resort. The world-class resort is stretched across 100 acres of lush tropical forest in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with unparalleled views over the stunning peaks. You’ll get the classic St Lucia holiday experience here – think chic waterfront dining, clean white lines in its expansive villas and residences, and vast vistas over the blues and greens of the rainforest and sparkling Caribbean Sea. Whether you’re with the family or on honeymoon, this intimate property has something for everyone. Enjoy a wide choice of watersports, relax in the indulgent Rainforest Spa, or simply kick back in the sun while a butler attends to your every need. THE DEAL
Seven-night holidays with British Airways start from just £1,339 per person on an Accommodation Only basis. To book visit ba.com/sugarbeachviceroy
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, offers piton views; a seat on Malabar beach at Rendezvous; the tranquil water garden pool; al fresco dining on the terrace; picture-postcard vistas at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort; the resort’s lush, green setting
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THINK CHIC WATERFRONT DINING, LARGE VILLAS AND VISTAS OVER THE RAINFOREST AND SPARKLING CARIBBEAN SEA Rendezvous ST LUCIA It’s no surprise St Lucia is one of the world’s most romantic destinations – with miles of pure white-sand beaches framed by cobalt seas and lush greenery, it’s the ideal place to enjoy quality time with your significant other. Which is perhaps why the intimate environment of Rendezvous chose St Lucia for its exclusive couples-only luxury resort, set on a glorious twomile stretch of white-sand beach. The boutique bolthole does an excellent line in romance: think candlelit beach dining, private hideaways accessed via a lazy river and an indulgent, blissfully peaceful spa. With only 100 rooms, each stunningly furnished and with kingsized beds, this hotel prides itself on being an exclusive and discreet hideaway for couples – it’s the perfect place to reconnect. THE DEAL
Seven-night all-inclusive holidays with British Airways start from just £1,329pp. For more information and to book, go to ba.com/rendezvous
Tobago Tobago proves good things come in small packages. At just 42km across, it’s the mellow foil to neighbouring Trinidad’s party-hard personality; the sort of place you’ll wander around barefoot, in a sundazzled daze, chatting to locals at open-air bars and perhaps mustering just enough energy to snorkel its sparkling bays. Known for stunning dive sites and nature reserves, Tobago is perfect for nature lovers and determined dawdlers alike.
FROM ABOVE: Lush, peaceful gardens at the cosy Coco Reef on Tobago; the resort’s beach is the perfect starting point for sailing, windsurfing and snorkelling
Coco Reef TOBAGO
COCO REEF IS TRADITIONAL TOBAGO AT ITS BEST. IT’S FULL OF CHARM, FROM THE COSY, RUSTIC ROOMS AND FRIENDLY SERVICE TO THE BEAUTIFUL PRIVATE BEACH
Tobago knows how to kick back and enjoy its natural beauty. Unspoiled rainforests, superior diving and hidden beaches framed by palm trees are just some of the sights. Coco Reef is traditional Tobago at its best, and it’s full of charm, from the cosy and rustic rooms to the friendly service. Found on the only private beach on the island, Coco Reef is surrounded by 10 acres of lush, manicured gardens, providing a great chance to absorb the island’s natural beauty. There’s a huge range of complimentary activities to get involved in, including sailing, windsurfing and snorkelling, which is particularly good on the resort’s manmade reef. Lay back on its perfect slice of beach and feel the island’s beauty wash over you. THE DEAL
Seven-night holidays including Bed and Breakfast with British Airways start from just £859 per person. To book visit ba.com/ cocoreeftobago
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Barbados Barbados is like four holidays in one. This classic Caribbean destination offers a heady mix of beachside glamour, lively resorts, and untamed natural beauty. Then of course there’s the historical capital of Bridgetown – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Put simply, it’s got something for everyone.
Sea Breeze Beach Hotel BARBADOS
Ocean Two BARBADOS Whether it’s absorbing local culture, sending your heart rate soaring with watersports or simply stretching out on the mile after mile of unspoilt coastline fringed by palm trees that makes your perfect holiday, Barbados has the ideal mix for a truly memorable family trip. Ocean Two makes the ideal base. Its spacious one- or two-bedroom suites – many with ocean views – come with expansive balconies, king-sized bed plus sofa bed, and fully equipped kitchens as standard, giving families space to enjoy quality time together. There’s even a pre-arrival grocery service, a private in-suite and beachside chef and a coconut vendor on the beach. Just beyond Ocean Two’s shore you can snorkel and kayak, and even further out you’ll find the pretty coral reef to explore. If that’s all too much, retire to the adults-only rooftop patio and plunge pool. It’s been a hard day, after all.
Seven-night holidays with British Airways start from just £739 per person on an Accommodation Only board basis. To book visit ba.com/oceantwo
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: The lobby bar at Sea Breeze Beach Hotel in Barbados; the resort’s adults-only pool; the main pool at Ocean Two is just metres away from the palm-fringed beach; the pool deck at twilight
The lively island of Barbados is a vibrant, colourful place to spend a week immersed in traditional Caribbean culture. Street parties and carnivals call Barbados their spiritual home, so be prepared to join in. All-inclusive, family-friendly Sea Breeze Beach Hotel, on the southern shore of the island, knows Bajan culture. It’s walking distance to Oistins, which hosts the iconic Friday night fish fry, but the cuisine in this small resort is just as noteworthy: three eateries, including the refined Azul fine dining restaurant, will keep your tastebuds on their toes. The resort has just 78 rooms, meaning relaxation comes high on the agenda – and if you want some time without the youngsters, head to the adults-only pool and Jacuzzi after dropping the kids off THE at the Kids Club. DEAL
Seven-night all-inclusive holidays with British Airways start from just £1,039pp. For more information and to book, go to ba.com/seabreeze
TERMS AND CONDITIONS Terms and conditions apply. Availability may be limited. Prices include return British Airways flights from London Gatwick and are based on two adults sharing for selected travel between 1 and 30 June 2016. Book by 22 Sept at ba.com or call 0844 493 0120. Call charges apply. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
Beaches and Beats Trinidad & Tobago offer an unbeatable combination of delicious food, beautiful beaches, warm hospitality and fun Caribbean festivals. It’s time to join the party…
HE BIRTHPLACE OF calypso, steelpan and a pretty raucous carnival, Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and history is every bit as fascinating as its wildlife and beautiful beaches. Bustling Trinidad is home to an eclectic heritage and a legendary festival, while Tobago boasts charming fishing villages and wildlife, including more than 230 species of tropical bird. Although both islands retain their own distinct identities, both offer the Caribbean trademarks – fields of sugar cane, waterfall hikes, rum cocktails, music and incredible white-sand beaches, fringed by swaying palm trees. Throughout the year, the islands play host to a number of different cultural fixtures. For sporty types there are international cycling and rugby events to take part in, or watch, during the trip. Epicureans can get their fill of creole cuisine at the islands’ celebrated food festivals, whereas music lovers will be spoiled for choice with the islands’ annual carnival and jazz festival. And best of all, a trip to these islands works at any time of year. Prepare for sunshine… ◆
Getting There Several major airlines fly direct to the islands, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Caribbean Airlines. britishairways.com; virgin-atlantic.com; caribbean-airlines.com To find out more about visiting the islands of Trinidad & Tobago – including what's on, where to stay and how to get there – head to gotrinidadandtobago.com.
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: White-sand beaches await on the islands of Trinidad & Tobago; go boat-spotting at the harbours; the islands have the best carnivals in the Caribbean; discover the lush landscapes by bike; do it the local way at the islands’ colourful festivals
TOBAGO BOASTS CALM GOLDEN BEACHES, CHARMING FISHING VILLAGES AND RICH WILDLIFE
P ROMOTI ON
Cultural events TOBAGO INTERNATIONAL CYCLING CLASSIC 2015, 28 SEPT - 4 OCT The Caribbean’s answer to the Tour de France, where amateurs and worldclass athletes test their cycling skills. BLUE FOOD FESTIVAL, 18 OCT This annual food festival in Tobago focuses on a local food called Dasheen. Also expect robust liqueurs and an unusual crayfish competition. TOBAGO INTERNATIONAL RUGBY SEVENS TOURNAMENT, 5 - 6 DEC The island welcomes an impressive line-up of over 25 teams from around the world to compete in the annual Rugby 7s tournament. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CARNIVAL, 8 - 9 FEB Both islands explode with colour, music and revelry for the carnival, featuring pulsating music, spectacular costumes and hardcore party goers. TURTLE WATCHING SEASON, MAR - SEPT Visit between March and September and the main nesting beaches – Matura, Fishing Pond and Grand Riviere – become home to five different types of sea turtle. TOBAGO JAZZ EXPERIENCE, 16 - 24 APR With past performers including A-listers such John Legend, Kool and the Gang and Dionne Warwick, this annual music festival at different island venues is sure to pack a punch.
DESIGNS OF THE YEAR 2015
SOMEDAY THE OTHER MUSEUMS WILL BE SHOWING THIS STUFF BOOK NOW DESIGNMUSEUM.ORG TOWER HILL/LONDON BRIDGE
Photography Hufton + Crow, Heydar Aliyev Centre, Designs of the Year 2014 winner
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STEP UP: For a fly pair of retro-inspired kicks, look no further than Saucony Originals. The Shadow Original range comes in nine different colours – not so handy for the indecisive. Find more athletic gear on page 86.
84 STYLE FOR GIRLS 86 STYLE FOR GUYS 90 WATCH SPECIAL
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CHECKLIST ★ GIR L S ★
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Activewear doesn’t have to mean old anoraks and muddy trainers. This gear can be rocked around London, or taken on a bigger expedition abroad – either way, you’ll be looking good.
1. HOUSE OF MARLEY, On-ear headphones, £29.99. Give your favourite band the attention they deserve by drowning out all other noise. thehouseofmarley.co.uk
3. TRAKKE, Droma duffel, £195. Handcrafted in Scotland using British waxed cotton and Italian leather, this bag is definitely built to last the distance. trakke.co.uk
2. ODLO, sports bra, £35. Provides sturdy support while actually looking decent, too. No Bridget Jones undies here, thanks. odlo.com
4. ODLO, Loftone Bike Primaloft jacket, £140. Sure to keep you warm when cycling, hiking or running, and you won’t go unnoticed. odlo.com
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5. ADIDAS, Basketball t-shirt, £25. Add some retro lovin’ to your outfit with a 100% cotton t-shirt. jdsports.co.uk 6. SAUCONY ORIGINALS, Shadows, £80. Trainers so great they’ll be wasted at the gym. allsole.com 7. YOGI PEACE CLUB, yoga mat, £80. Look the part, feel the part. Starts with the yoga mat. stylesportif.com 8. TINY FISH CO, leggings, £56.50. Designed for yoga, but we want to rock them all day, every day. tinyfishco.com 9. STORM, Tryla bracelet, £39.99. No athletic gains, but so good we really don’t care. stormwatches.com 10. NIKON, Coolpix AW130 Digital Camera, £220. An all-conditions camera that’s as bright as your day. nikon.com
PhotographPhotograph by David Harrison by ###
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★ GUYS ★
SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT
Be honest: those long, boozy summer barbecues have taken their toll. But when it comes to the twice-annual purge, we’ll make sure you’re at least looking the part...
1. UNITED NUDE, Runner Mens in grey and neon green, £148. Punchy design; built for speed and agility, just like you. unitednude.com 2. NIKE, Dip Dye Futura t-shirt, £25. Quintessential logo tee from the most iconic sports gear brand in the game. jdsports.co.uk
3. CHILLY’S, 500ml bottle, £18.98. Keep your drink ice-cold for 24 hours – refreshment when you need it most. chillysbottles.com 4. SOAR, t-shirt, £54. Featherweight, antibacterial, breathable and, crucially, it looks great, too. soarrunning.com
CHECKLIST Everything on this classic backpack has been designed to maximise comfort without sacrificing lightness or durability. It has a handy waist belt for running, too.
5. THE NORTH FACE, Borealis backpack, £80. The perfect combination of ergonomics and comfort. jdsports.co.uk 6. FINISTERRE, Incus, £110. Provides crucial warmth in cold weather, inside or outside your other clothing. finisterreuk.com
7. FINISTERRE, Portland hoodie, £60. Warm enough to keep the chill at bay; cool enough to run in. No-brainer. finisterreuk.com 8. HUEZ*, Starman wind jacket, £125. A quickfire zip means no messing around, and you can pack it away in a parcel, too. huez.co.uk 9. PICTURE ORGANIC CLOTHING, Everest jogger, £64.99. Warm, comfy and sustainably made. picture-organic-clothing.com 10. ADIDAS-PERFORMANCE BY MONSTER, Supernova, £89.95. Comfortable in the ears, and noise-isolating, too. shopmonsterproducts.co.uk
11. MOTOROLA, Moto 360, £199.99. Customiseable Android smartwatch with a modern-classic design. motorola.co.uk
8 9 Photograph by ### Photograph by David Harrison
All of Picture’s clothing is made from recycled and organic material, meaning not only do you look good, you can feel pretty good about yourself, too. Now get running.
ESSENTIAL HOLIDAY FASHION AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
★ GEAR ★ Contrast trims and handles run across the collection. Look inside this holdall and you’ll find pictures of birds of prey – which is handy AND handsome.
BAG IT UP When it comes to luggage, you might find yourself choosing between form and function, and ultimately compromising on both. Not so with Ted Baker’s stylish and durable new Falconwood luggage collection.
by ### PhotographPhotograph by David Harrison
TED BAKER: Medium Clipper holdall, £175. The mid-sized weekend bag from Ted Baker’s Falconwood collection – big enough for a long weekend and great-looking, too. caseluggage.com
The luxurious fabrics and materials, as you’d probably expect from Ted Baker, are inspired by tailored suiting – though they’re also lightweight and durable.
CHECKLIST ★ GEAR ★
WATCHES SPECIAL When Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Everest in 1953, he was wearing a watch – a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, if we’re going to be specific. Point being: even in one of the most harsh and remote landscapes on Earth, knowing the time mattered, and it still does in 2015. Wherever you go in the world and whatever you’re doing, there’s a watch for that – here are a few of our favourites…
The explorer North Flag, £2,430 (on strap) Tudor has been making functional tool watches for decades, but the polar exploration-inspired North Flag has a secret weapon – a new, self-winding movement made entirely in-house. It’s designed for high performance in extreme environments – like the pub, we presume. tudorwatch.com
The beachbum Project 1, from £115 Each watch from Shore’s Project 3 range is named after a British beach, which should tell you a bit about the brand’s ethos. Models come in a variety of colours, with a rugged case designed to keep out water, and interchangable straps so you can easily switch from beach-mode to bar-mode. shoreprojects.com
Pebble Time, £179.99
The smartwatch revolution is in full swing, and Pebble’s Time is the one we’d most like to take on holiday – lucky thing. There’s a full-colour e-paper display and a huge, seven-day battery life, which makes it perfect for trips where charging’s an issue. Use it for easy access to apps, fitness tracking and – we know, madness – telling the time. getpebble.com
The Japanese brand launched its first diver’s watch in 1965, so it knows a thing or two about keeping things ticking along underwater. The latest Prospex model takes inspiration from Seiko’s groundbreaking professional diver’s watches, with a uni-directional bezel, maximum legibility in low light levels, and easy operation when you’re wearing gloves. It’ll take you down to 200m, which should be more than enough for a quick dip in the sea at Bournemouth beach. seiko.co.uk
The gadget geek
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FA HU M R N A ILY RY, G N TR C TR D A LA AV DO VEL IM EL N SH Y O ’ PH T F OW U O OR .C R 2 TO G O F G ET M RE RA T & E PH O E QU * TI ER NT OT CK S ER E ET ‘ C O TH ESC S M E A PE PI SM TI TI ’. O N !
DISCOVERING THE WORLD TOGETHER OLYMPIA, LONDON 31 OCT - 1 NOV 2015
THE UK’S ONLY EVENT DEDICATED TO FAMILY TRAVEL ADVENTURES Olympia, London 31 October - 1 November 2015
LIMITED TIME FREE TICKET OFFER! Claim your 2 free* tickets worth £24, quote ‘ESCAPISM’ Visit familytravelshow.com for full details or call 0844 209 7360
PHOTO CREDITS: &BEYOND
Ticket offer ends 16th October 2015. *Booking fee of £2.50 to cover postage & packing applies. Tickets £12 on the door, under 16s free. Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
ADVENTURE • BEACH • CULTURE • CRUISE • LUXURY • RESORTS • SAFARI • SKI • OUTDOORS • VILLAS TECHNOLOGY PARTNER:
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The health fanatic Activité Pop, £119.99 Withings takes a pretty sensible approach to the wearables trend, by hiding away all the clever activity tracking tech in a traditional-looking body. The Activité Pop can track you when you’re running, walking, swimming and sleeping (and autodetects each activity), and will send all the data to your phone via Bluetooth. Clever and pretty. withings.com
The mountaineer Canford, £360 Elliot Brown’s watches are built for the rough and tumble of an outdoor lifestyle – this one more than most. As you can probably work out from the name, the Canford Mountain Rescue Edition is made to be tough, with design input from Mountain Rescue Engand and Wales, which gets a £36 donation from every watch sold. The smart leather strap can be switched for an included ballistic nylon one when you head for the hills. elliotbrown watches.com
The adventurer T-Touch Expert Solar, £795
Photograph by ###
There are 20 functions in Tissot’s T-Touch Expert Solar, so if it isn’t quite prepared for everything, it’s certainly ready for most things you’ll throw at it. We love the titanium case, solar-powered quartz movement and the dualtime-zone function, but most of all we love the no-nonsense looks and tactile display. tissot.ch
Discover luxurious log-cabin holiday accommodation, nestled deep in UK Forestry Commission estates. Escape, unwind and reconnect with your friends and family. Enjoy local walks, bike trails, your private hot tub and even in-cabin spa treatments. Whatever you do, your woodland surroundings will work their quiet magic on you!
An exclusive 10% discount! For a limited time only, Forest Holidays are offering Escapism readers 10% off their bookings at Forest Holidays! Use code ESCAPISM15 to redeem this offer at www.forestholidays.co.uk. The code is valid until 15 October 2015 for breaks taken before 31 December 2015. Terms & Conditions This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and Forest Holiday reserve the right to withdraw the code without notice. The code must be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added retrospectively. Discount is off the cabin only.
The stylist Diver Sixty-Five, £1,150 If you’re a proper diver – the kind who hangs around under oil rigs – Oris makes watches just for you. However, if you’re the kind of diver who likes the idea of being Jacques Cousteau but would rather keep your feet on dry land, you’ll be more interested in the brand’s Diver Sixty-Five, based on a heritage model. oris.ch
SWATCH The urban adventurer
Photograph by ###
We know you know Swatch – you’ve probably even owned one – but the Sistem51 is a pretty special thing, and the perfect companion for your travels. Its selfwinding mechanical movement consists of only 51 parts, all held together with just one screw and hermetically sealed, which means it’s accurate, has less to go wrong and looks unique. We’ll take it in camo, because you never know when your wrist needs to go stealth. And because it looks cool, obviously – yes, we’re that fickle. swatch.com
The adrenaline junkie Essential Carbon, £500 The Finnish brand’s beautifully made and reliably clever watches are a consistent escapism favourite, and the Essential’s no different. The design takes cues from heritage pieces but it packs plenty of modern tech inside, including a barometric altimeter, dual time and storm alarm. For actionpacked adventures with a bit of style. suunto.com
INTO THE BLUE
The tiny Caribbean island of Tobago has nature, adventure and luxury in abundance, and we’re offering a dream trip for two. Here’s how you can win…
ith pristine and deserted beaches dotted along idyllic coastlines, glowing coral reefs, and a profusion of exotic wildlife, the island of Tobago is one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets. We’ve teamed up with British Airways and Blue Waters Inn to offer one lucky couple a five-night trip to the island, including accommodation at the stunning Blue Waters Inn, two dives for two and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways.
The winners will experience Tobago’s spectacular mountain scenery, lush tropical vegetation and wildlife, and its warm and welcoming people. It’s a haven for the active, too, with hiking, diving, zip lining, stand up paddle boarding and golf all available. After all that you’ll need somewhere to relax, and the boutique Blue Waters Inn is the perfect location. Overlooking Batteaux Bay on the north-east coast, the Inn has 38 luxurious rooms and bungalows, vibrant cuisine and a fantastic beachfront location. For a chance to see it for yourself, see the opposite page… ◆
GETTING THERE British Airways flies to Tobago twice a week and offers seven nights at the Blue Waters Inn from £839 per person, for travel in May and June. This price includes return World Traveller flights from London Gatwick and accommodation with breakfast. To find out more, visit the British Airways website at ba.com/tobago or call 0844 493 0120
HOW TO WIN
ISLAND LIFE: The beautiful Blue Waters Inn makes the ideal base for a Tobago trip. You won’t be short of things to do, whether in the resort or soaking up the rest of the island – it’s a place to relax, recharge and unwind
To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic trip for two to the island of Tobago, including five nights at Blue Waters Inn and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways, all you need to do is answer one easy question. To enter, and for full terms and conditions, go to escapismmagazine.com/ competition
Photographs by Wyatt Gallery
TOBAGO IS A HAVEN FOR ACTIVE TRAVELLERS, WITH HIKING, ZIP LINING, WATERSPORTS AND GOLF ALL ON OFFER 97
VERTICAL LIMIT AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW
Photograph by Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
You know shipping containers are officially cool when they’re picked up by the extreme sports crowd. On this occasion, it’s BMXer Drew Bezanson, riding for Red Bull in Halifax, Nova Scotia. To get the shot, he had to launch himself off a ramp assembled 40ft above the ground and perched atop the containers, which can be reassembled to make any number of different-looking parks. Just like in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater – only it takes a little longer, presumably. e For more info and to see a video, go to redbull.com/uncontainable
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get a great holiday
World's Leading All Inclusive Family Resort Brand
JAMAICA • TURKS & CAICOS
17 Years Running
Beaches holidays offer the same high level of Luxury Included® quality that Sandals are famous for (see inside front cover), translated for single, families and groups. Beaches Luxury Included® experience means you’re free to enjoy what’s most important – spending time together. Offering dedicated entertainment and activities for every age from the tiniest children, to the most hard to please teams, rest assured younger guests will discover the most fun holiday around every corner.
UNIQUE ROOMS & SUITES
Rooms & Suites at Beaches Resorts are ﬂexible and designed to cater to families and groups alike.
GOURMET DISCOVERY DINING
Like Sandals Resorts, guests can dine around the world without leaving, with up to 21 restaurants per resort.
PREMIUM BRAND DRINKS
At Beaches, premium brand drinks are always included. Plus Beaches offers a wide range of juices to keep the kids hydrated. CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE WITH SESAME STREET® Enjoy a character breakfast, watch a parade, bake cookies and more! These are just a few ways to spend your day…
PIRATES ISLAND WATER PARK
Only Beaches has the best waterparks in the Caribbean, where kids of all ages will have a blast!
XBOX 360® PLAY LOUNGE
Beaches Resorts are excited to feature our cutting-edge Xbox 360® Play Lounge, bringing together the whole family.
SCRATCH DJ ACADEMY® The Caribbean is the centre of cool, so we’ve partnered with Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay to offer our coolest guests the Scratch DJ experience.
‘No adults allowed’ and just for teens, Club Liquid, the hottest dance club in the Caribbean jams to music with a cool South Beach vibe.
TO BOOK THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE FAMILY RESORTS
Call 0800 594 0001, visit beachesresorts.co.uk or call your local travel agent
TM/© 2014 Sesame Workshop
BARBADOS’ ONLY FIVE-STAR
ALL INCLUDED, ALL UNLIMITED, ALL THE TIME Introducing the new Sandals Barbados opened in January 2015. Distinctively chic. Decidedly luxurious. Unmistakably Sandals. Nestled on one of the most beautiful beaches, it’s the only five-star resort in Barbados that’s designed exclusively for couples. From the decadently romantic swim-up suites with your very own personal Butler to world-class dining in 11 specialty restaurants, Sandals Barbados is everything you’d expect a Luxury Included ® resort to be. Plus, the majority of rooms & suites feature a tranquility soaking tub on the balcony or patio, and no other resort in Barbados includes more unlimited land and water sports like scuba diving†.
TO BOOK THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS Call 0800 742 742 | Visit sandals.co.uk See your local travel agent Free for certified divers.
World's Leading All Inclusive Resorts 19 Years Running